Protect & Survive Miami: End of Watch

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by wolverinethad, May 21, 2017.

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  1. wolverinethad InfoSec for America

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    Question, @FickleCrossroad -- If there are no wind contours over an area, does that mean wind won't bring fallout to that area?
     
  2. Unknown Member

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    Good update.

    The capital punishment statute is bad but, since we know what's coming, I really don't see that Graham had a choice (I mean, very few people are going to care about Ted Bundy's fate, for example); the offer to the nonviolent offenders makes sense. I really don't envy Graham here...

    Kilma, you need to make plans to leave Miami and go to your family, especially since war breaks out, and try to get Rivera before then...
     
  3. wolverinethad InfoSec for America

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    Writing Jan is an interesting psychological exercise. He's going through so many emotions because he's an ex-military officer who served on the front line in Germany, a police detective chasing a narcoterrorist, and a father and husband feeling guilt at being away from his family. The conflict is real for him. He's smoking more, sleeping less, losing weight because he's skipping meals. His partner got shot. So, in his head, do you stick around and try to stop this or say the hell with it and run to your family? He's trying to hang in because deep down, he knows Manny is a survivor, and must be caught before everything goes to hell, but the closer the clock ticks to midnight, the stronger the voice telling him to run is.
     
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  4. Unknown Member

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    Yeah, and it's only gonna get stronger as the Third World War and Exchange approach.

    Again, Jan, if you don't catch Manny by 7:00 a.m., Eastern Standard Time on February 21st (when news of the first nuclear explosion in Germany reaches the United States (1) and you're still in Miami, get the hell out of Miami and get to Fort Myers before the balloon goes up!!! Forget Rivera for now when that occurs (hopefully, he'll listen to the voice telling him to run sooner)...

    (1) The first news of the detonation reached newsrooms at 12:00 p.m., Greenwich Mean Time, which is 7:00 a.m. on the East Coast (for Standard Time)...

    Anyway, waiting for more (hope we see more of Tom Petty here; if you could have Dale, Sr. and the other NASCAR drivers appear, that'd be good, too)...
     
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  5. FickleCrossroad Dormant Poet

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    @FickleCrossroad -- If there are no wind contours over an area, does that mean wind won't bring fallout to that area?[/QUOTE]
    No, those are observed conditions. The contours (solid) are lines of equal height at 500mb, (indicating differences in pressure), and dashed lines are isotherms. The wind barbs are from weather balloons showing wind speed and direction at 500mb, (thus steering flow for fallout sucked into the mushroom clouds).
     
  6. wolverinethad InfoSec for America

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    So gaps in between the contour lines will still be affected by those winds blowing in the same direction as the contour lines?
     
  7. FickleCrossroad Dormant Poet

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    The wind barbs and contour lines address different phenomena. Regarding fallout displacement, particularly over Florida, you can estimate relative direction and strength between the gaps. To this day, there aren't that many weather balloons launched over CONUS, so for the sake of the story, you can assume fairly linear changes between observed points. While pressure contours do generally follow overall wind pattern, it's not exact. It might help if you simply ignore the contours and just average out the changes between wind barbs over Florida.
     
  8. Threadmarks: Chapter 27

    wolverinethad InfoSec for America

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    Chapter 27
    February 11, 1984
    Miami, Florida

    "Good morning, this is Chris Wallace in NBC's Washington Bureau. We've just received word that the press spokesman at the Pentagon, Michael Burch, is about to speak about the events of last night and some other, quote, items of interest. We now turn to Robert Hager at the Pentagon...wait, Mr. Burch is already walking to the podium."

    "Good morning, everyone. I have several announcements to make. This morning, President Reagan directed the following: Operation REFORGER has been initiated. For anyone who is unfamiliar with the term, it stands for Return of Forces to Germany. This includes the 1st Cavalry Division and 2nd Armored Division from Fort Hood, Texas; the 5th Mechanized Infantry Division from Fort Polk, Louisiana; the 212th Artillery Brigade from Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment from Fort Bliss, Texas. Those comprise the III Corps. The 4th Mechanized Infantry Division from Fort Carson, Colorado; the 194th Armored Brigade from Fort Knox, Kentucky; and the 197th Mechanized Infantry Brigade from Fort Benning, Georgia. Those units will join those in Frankfurt, West Germany, to form V Corps. Finally, the 1st Mechanized Infantry Division from Fort Riley, Kansas, and the 1st Mechanized Canadian Division from Combined Forces Base Kingston in Ontario will join those in Stuttgart, West Germany to form VII Corps.

    Furthermore, the 42nd Infantry Division, comprised of National Guard units from multiple states, has been mobilized. This division will serve as a backup for the REFORGER forces after marshalling at Fort Campbell. Any questions?"


    "Mike, do you have any comment about the Munich explosion last night?!" "Mike, what about the dockyard in Hamburg?" "MIKE!"

    "Okay, okay, folks, one thing at a time. We have identified two of the dead at the dockyards as Soviet Spetznaz soldiers. They fought in Afghanistan and were photographed there. We suspect the rest of the dead are also Spetznaz, given the nature of the target. Now, about the airport. We do not, repeat, not know who is behind the explosion. We do know that it appears to be deliberate, given the evidence at the scene, and this morning, General Vessey is calling each soldier who lost someone in the explosion to express his condolences, because right now, that is what matters most. Bob?"

    "Mike, is there any way that you could give us more information about the explosion? Isn't it safe to say, given the target, that the Soviets did this, and isn't that tantamount to an act of war?"

    "Bob, I don't have more information about the explosion to give you, and I'm not going to answer that second question. We've started a round of talks again in Geneva and hope they succeed. That's all I have to say, thank you."

    *****

    Jan Klima had fallen asleep on a couch in the lounge on the homicide floor of Miami PD headquarters. Two of his colleagues came in and woke him up around 8:30 am, and Klima drove home, showered, and changed into fresh clothes. He'd been up until at least 2 am, reading case notes, trying to put it all together. What were they missing? He couldn't figure it out. The other task force members were equally stumped. Every lead brought them to a dead end. What now?

    *****

    Gainesville, Florida

    The University of Florida came with some excellent benefits for being an emergency government location. One of those benefits was being home to a core station of Florida Public Radio, WRUF (AM) and WUFT (FM), and a host of student broadcasters/technicians to supplement the skeleton crew brought from WFSU in Tallahassee, the primary station for FPR. Bob Graham also had arranged for a legend to be evacuated from Tallahassee to Gainesville: Red Barber. The longtime baseball broadcaster, now retired, was a regular Friday guest for National Public Radio's Morning Edition (and a UF alumni), and Graham felt his down-home folksiness would be useful to calm people in wartime. Barber was currently getting familiarized with the WUFT studios and regaling students with stories about legendary ballplayers. He knew the world situation was bad, and was old enough that he could remember both World Wars, which had dominated much of his conversation with Edwards the day before. There was going to be a special treat, too: the Gators were traveling to Lexington, Kentucky in two days to play the Kentucky Wildcats, and Barber would call the game on the radio with David Steele, the regular play-by-play man, while watching the raw TV feed from Rupp Arena. Graham also had the legendary "Voice of the Gators," Otis Boggs and his co-host, Bob Leach, ready to work shifts for FPR once the shift to emergency broadcasting began. Currently, Boggs and Leach continued to host their morning show on WRUF while whatever normalcy left still existed.

    Graham had also spoken with Georgia governor Joe Frank Harris that morning, who had plans to evacuate to Valdosta State University in south Georgia when war began. Harris was known as an inveterate planner, and while Valdosta was potentially in the path of fallout depending on what was hit west of it, it was off Interstate 75, and more importantly, was a straight shot to Gainesville and Tallahassee via 75 and Interstate 10, which intersected 75 north of Gainesville. It would make coordination easy between the two states, and was home to Valdosta State University and a Georgia Army National Guard armory that was home to the 48th Mechanized Infantry Brigade, so security would be significantly easier to maintain there. The 48th was comprised of two infantry battalions, an armor battalion, an artillery battalion, an engineer battalion, a support battalion, and several companies of various types, including air defense. Harris pledged cooperation with Graham, who was deeply concerned over how to stage the few Guardsmen he had available to use in the northern half of the state. Most of the National Guard bases were in targeted areas, and Jacksonville was home to both an Army Guard and Air Guard unit, working out of the airport, a fat target for the Soviets. The Tallahassee Headquarters Command only had a special forces company and a signals battalion under it. Graham's additional support could come if he pulled the 153rd Cavalry Regiment out of Panama City, which he was hesitant to do immediately, because the many airfields and the shoreline in that area needed defending. Harris and Graham agreed that the Georgia Guard would patrol I-75 from Valdosta to Hamilton County Road 132, 25 miles inside the state line. It would lessen the burden on the Florida Guard, and Florida would help Georgia with food from its greenhouse program.

    The next night, Ben Hill Griffin Stadium would play host to a free concert from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Graham had come down on the side of allowing the concert to go forth. Anything that would raise morale was a positive in his book, as employers were starting to see sickouts across the state and psychologists reported dramatic upticks in emergency appointment calls. Finally, the legislature, in closed session, approved the capital punishment bill. Graham signed it, but per his directive, publication in the state register would be delayed one week. That night, at midnight, a squad of riflemen would execute the criminals scheduled for executions in 1984. Arthur Goode, James Adams, Carl Shriner, David Leroy Washington, Ernest Dobbert Jr., James Dupree Henry, and Timothy Charles Palmes would be lined up in a courtyard, hooded, placed against a wall, and shot to death. The use of Guardsmen ensured no one would talk. Their deaths would sadden nobody.
     
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  9. Tsar of New Zealand Back in Black (and Red and Green) Donor

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    I've no real new praise to offer; your writing remains as good as ever, but I do have a thought or two. There's something engrossing about Jan becoming more and more drawn into the case as the big clock ticks towards midnight. One is left with the impression that he'll scarcely notice WWIII by the time it breaks out, instead becoming annoyed with a series of inconveniences in those last three days until reality slaps him upside the head with a series of mushroom clouds.

    I've no doubt he'll have the presence of mind left to escape Miami, or at least the luck to be out of town by happenstance as things fall apart - few if any P&S franchises have had the chutzpah to kill off their protagonist this far in - but it's suspenseful reading nonetheless.
     
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  10. Unknown Member

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    The only P & S story that killed off the main character was the NYC one, Tsar, so I don't see Jan dying. My take is below, Tsar, and I wonder if you (or anyone else) agrees with me.

    Jan was a front-line officer in West Germany before becoming a Miami cop (it's mentioned in the prologue) so he's likely to pay attention when war breaks out. He'll likely get some stuff together to prepare to leave in case of the worst happening in Europe (IMO, it'd be in character for him to do so). All the while, he works on getting Manny. He'll also try to get his car fully gassed sometime before February 21st. If he doesn't get Manny by the morning of February 21st, here's what happens:
    Between 6:55 and 7:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time, Jan (and everyone else in Miami and the U.S.) hears about the nuclear explosion in West Germany. Jan decides to go home and pack the stuff he prepared (which I already mentioned) and put it into his car. He then heads to Miami PD, where he calls Rosa and tells her he'll be there soon. He then heads to the hospital to say goodbye to Luis (who is likely f***ed if the hospital is anywhere near a nuclear explosion). While he's talking to Luis, the news of the second explosion comes in. He then says goodbye to Luis (for the final time, probably) and heads to Fort Myers. He barely has enough time for a reunion with his family and to settle in when the Exchange begins (if the sky's clear, he's likely to see the blasts in southeast Florida and Key West, not to mention Tampa-St. Petersburg, if he's not taking shelter).

    Another scenario is that, somehow, Rivera's hideout gets revealed in the buildup to war or during the war itself and it gets raided before the first tactical nuke explodes in West Germany (this is inspired by Land of Flatwater's post linked here: https://www.alternatehistory.com/fo...ve-middle-america.211130/page-25#post-5247224). It's the author's choice whether or not to kill/capture Rivera at this point.

    Anyway, Tsar, just my 2 cents.

    My thoughts on this update are in another post.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2017
  11. Unknown Member

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    Anyway, as promised, my thoughts on this chapter.

    Good chapter. I like the news updates in the chapters; it gives more background to what's going on (it reminds me of threads).

    Wolverinethad, you have no idea how many baseball fans on AH.com you just made happy with Red Barber's inclusion in this story (not to mention any Gator fans with the inclusion of the others). I like that Graham is reaching out to Georgia; soon, he'll probably coordinate with Alabama and the other Southern states (it would make sense, IMO). Glad the Tom Petty concert went forward; I could see Petty and his band leading peace marches on the 14th. As for the death row inmates, no one will care very much for them (outside of their immediate families, of course). If you could have a female executioner for Ted Bundy's inevitable execution (as was rumored to have taken place IOTL in his 1989 execution; it's unclear if this was true), that would be satisfying (if anyone deserved the death penalty, it was Bundy)...

    Hope the Intimidator (aka Dale Earnhardt, Sr.) and a certain former president (Jimmy Carter) make appearances (I can imagine Carter's thoughts as the war approaches; he'd likely be heartbroken over this)...

    Waiting for more...
     
  12. wolverinethad InfoSec for America

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    I can't tell you how much that means to me. Everyone who's been so complimentary of this, especially those who made excellent contributions to this universe....it really makes me feel good. Thank you.
     
  13. Unknown Member

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    You're welcome, wolverinethad. BTW, I'd think that there would be some protests/vigils in Florida (despite the major military presence there) on February 14th (and leading up to the war), including in Miami (hell, I could see Rosa and her family joining vigils in Fort Myers)...
     
  14. patch_g Well-Known Member

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    Thoroughly enjoying this story. Looking forward to more. A quality part of the P&Sverse.
     
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  15. Threadmarks: Chapter 28

    wolverinethad InfoSec for America

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    Chapter 28
    February 12, 1984
    Gainesville, Florida

    "Good evening, Gainesville, and welcome to the last rock show on Earth!" With those words, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers launched into the wall of sound that was "Refugee." The stadium, packed as tightly as anyone had ever seen it, began dancing and singing along to the words. "Baby, you don't....have...to live like a refugee," Petty wailed, and by the third chorus, he was holding out the mic to the fans as they repeated, "Don't have to live like a refugee...." From there, it was on to "Don't Do Me Like That," followed by "Even The Losers." When Petty got to "I Need To Know," he changed the words up. "Well, word on the street is you might start a war.....A good friend of mine says they're all just loco....I need to know, I need to know, if you're gonna blow us up, then you better say so. I need to know, I need to know, cause I don't know how long, we can all hang on...If you're making us wait, to learn our awful fate, I need to know." The fans roared, because it encapsulated how everyone felt in the stadium. Later on, Petty introduced a new song, "This is dedicated to anyone who thinks we need to go to war, in any country, from any country. We're tired of fighting, tired of war, tired of it all, man. We just want to live our lives, y'know? This is called 'Don't Come Around Here No More.'"

    After three hours, which included covers of Edwin Starr's "War," Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Fortunate Son" (with a special appearance by John Fogerty, who'd driven from Baton Rouge, Louisiana (he was spending time in bayou country hoping to find inspiration for his next album), and Fleetwood Mac's "Don't Stop," the band closed with "American Girl," a song written in Gainesville that had propelled the band to fame eight years ago. When it was over, fireworks were shot off into the night. The crowd left sweaty, happy, and entertained. They didn't know if they'd have such an opportunity again anytime soon, but all 90,000+ present for the show know they'd witnessed the show of their lives.

    *****

    Miami, Florida

    Klima had decided extreme measures were necessary roughly around the time Gainesville was rocking out. Drawing on the lessons he'd learned in the military, he went to a sporting goods store, purchasing a black jogging suit, black sneakers, and some football eye-black. The detective returned home to Coral Gables to change and prepare himself. Are you ready to cross another line, Jan? It's obvious that diplomacy was a failure. I'm running out of time to catch this asshole, and there won't be enough of it left for anyone to fire me. That bleak thought permeated his very being since February 1. Almost two weeks without his family. Almost two weeks of coming home to an empty, quiet house. Yeah, it's time.

    Hours had passed since darkness had fallen, Miami being one of the furthest east cities in the nation. Klima drove to Paul Rosenstein's house, parking on the block behind it. Attired all in black, with his face painted black, his plan was to try and find information there, and if detected, the lawyer would be so scared shitless he wouldn't recognize a thing about Klima. Crawling through the neighbor's yard, crossing over into Rosenstein's, Klima snuck up to the house. He began by peeking into windows on the first floor, looking for a den or something similar that would potentially be a storage place. No dice. Surveying the backyard, he found a lawn chair, and hoisted himself on the top of the pergola that spanned the attorney's patio. From there, Jan made his way onto the roof of the first floor, easing around so as not to fall off.

    A-ha! There was an open window to the bedroom, and peeking in, he spied Rosenstein sleeping in the semidarkness. Klima knew Rosenstein wasn't married, and without an office, interrogation was all he had left. Removing the screen with the help of his trusty Swiss Army knife, he crept his way into the bedroom. Klima had his Beretta with him again, this time with a not-at-all-legal suppressor attached to the end. Klima closed the window behind him, pulled down the shade, then turned on a red lens flashlight. Holding the flashlight with one hand, Klima used the end of the pistol to poke Rosenstein. The lawyer mumbled and rolled over. Klima poked him, harder this time, making sure that it would wake up the sleeping figure.

    The lawyer opened his eyes and let out a yelp. "Who are you?!"

    "Paul, let's just call me Cal."

    "How do you know my...my name?" Rosenstein replied, still disbelieving at this figure in black, red flashlight and gun in hand.

    "I do my job well, Paul. You see," Jan began to spin a tale now for the attorney's benefit, "my employers are very unhappy with your client, Mr. Rivera. He's pissed off some very powerful people, and those people want him found. The cops beat us to that Cuban soldier of his, but his friend Antonio....we took care of him. He died screaming, Paul. I don't want to do that to you. You're a lawyer, and although I despise lawyers, you don't carry a gun and you're not a fighter. You push paperwork, you make arguments, and you clean money. Perform well, give me the information I want, and maybe we'll hire you to clean our money after Mr. Rivera goes to have a chat with St. Peter. Lie to me, and you'll die screaming like Antonio GarcĂ­a did."

    "What do you want to know, Cal? I'll tell you anything, anything I know, I swear!" Rosenstein was sweating and shivering, clearly in terror. Not even Rivera knew about what had happened to Antonio. The terror was just as much from this man knowing Antonio was dead as it was from holding a pistol at the legal hired gun.

    "You ought to know what I want to know. Where is Mr. Rivera at?" Jan asked, the menace in his voice unmistakable. The attorney yelled out, immediately, that he didn't know. Jan took another step towards him. "Paul, that's not good enough. You're his lawyer. You've handled so many transactions for him. I'm sure you've been to whatever house he's living in now. I've already been to his beach house, empty, as I'm sure you know. Not sure I can blame him, what with a possible war about to start. I wouldn't want to be near any Cuban bombers," "Cal" said.

    Rosenstein was fully sitting up, pressed against the headboard. "I swear to you, man, I don't know. He hired some CIA guys a few weeks ago, smart, tough guys. He's been in hiding ever since. The last time I saw him anywhere was the Biltmore. We've only met in coffee shops or diners since. He's keeping his head down. He moved a ton of coke recently, but the cops got his factory. He hasn't called me, he hasn't seen me in over a week, I swear to you I have no idea where he's at!" The desperation in his voice was obvious.

    "Now, Paul, you bought his houses, right? You did all that legwork. Surely you know where he's living. You can't tell me his lawyer, the one that knows everything, all of his secrets, doesn't know where he lives? Do you see this, you low-rent Perry Mason? This is a Beretta pistol with a suppressor on it. That means it's quiet. If I kill you now, no one will hear it. If we leave your nice little house in this nice neighborhood in your nice Mercedes, and your body is in the trunk, nobody will ever know. Sure, one day, they'll find you somewhere in the Everglades, if the alligators haven't gotten to you first, and then your neighbors will hear about your passing, and maybe they'll even miss you, but probably not, because you were just another drug lord's lawyer. Lawyers are disposable, Paul. We've got so many in this country, Rivera would find another one without breaking a sweat. You'd better talk fast, or you and Antonio are going to share the same fate." Jan/Cal worked the slide and held the barrel level with Rosenstein's face.

    "God Almighty, Cal, I don't know! Those Agency guys, I think they helped him hide away out of the city. The last time I saw him, he was in a pickup truck, not in his usual stylish cars, which isn't normal for him. He's not too far away, maybe over in Sunrise or down by Homestead, because it doesn't take him long to meet up in the city after he sets up a meet. That's the best I got, so if you're gonna kill me, just make it fast."

    "No, Paul, you're good. I'll see myself out now. You call the cops, though, and I won't be nice enough to knock next time." Klima walked out of the bedroom, let himself out the back door, and snuck back to his car. Rosenstein, on the other hand, ran into his bathroom, and vomited.

    *****

    The next day, Klima started calling the Miami suburbs, asking for deeds filed on house purchases since the first of the year. The clerks were told that it was a high-priority police matter, so they promised he would have the records he needed in two days. Miami PD had clerks who could drive out to pick up the records, which also expedited matters. While he was making calls, Klima's copy of the Herald was dropped on his desk. The headline read across the fold: "Andropov steps down as Soviet General Secretary due to ill health; Marshal Ogarkov named as successor." It was February 13th, 1984.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2017 at 4:56 PM
  16. Unknown Member

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    Good update; things are heating up (in both stories). Like that Kilma has a degree of ruthlessness in him; he reminds me of Sonny Crockett from Miami Vice (which is not a surprise, given that that show is one of your inspirations).

    Love the Tom Petty concert scene; hope he makes more appearances. I could easily see him leading a peace march in Gainesville on February 14th (and there will be peace marches in other cities, including Miami)...

    Waiting for more, of course...
     
  17. Threadmarks: Intermission

    wolverinethad InfoSec for America

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    1984: The Year That Wasn't

    Discuss: What albums that didn't get to come out in the P&S universe were the biggest losses to music?

    My list:

    Stevie Ray Vaughan-Couldn't Stand The Weather
    Bruce Springsteen-Born In The USA
    Prince-Purple Rain
    Metallica-Ride The Lightning
    U2-The Unforgettable Fire
    Bryan Adams-Reckless
    Madonna-Like A Virgin
    Don Henley-Building the Perfect Beast
     
  18. Tsar of New Zealand Back in Black (and Red and Green) Donor

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    This. A thousand times, this.
     
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  19. Unknown Member

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    Haven't heard the Metallica album, but I would say its a tie between that, Madonna, and Bruce Springsteen...

    Yeah, we're gonna lose a lot of good music (along with many other things)...

    Speaking of which, what is the Miami Sound Machine (whose lead singer is Gloria Estefan) up to ITTL? They were a little under two years away from hitting it big IOTL...

    BTW, Kilma reminds me of Thomas Magnum and Sonny Crockett; nice, but utterly ruthless if you try to cross him (being willing to shoot Antonio in the head was something I didn't see coming and was a Shoot the Dog moment; John Clark from the Jack Ryan series of books would have heartily approved (1))...

    Waiting for more...

    (1) Of course, Clark would have tortured him first (note: if you're a drug dealer involved in Clark's girlfriend's death and you run afoul of John Clark, shoot yourself--it'll be far more merciful than your fate at his hands); read Without Remorse to see how this might have been done. Then again, since Antonio wasn't involved in Clark's girlfriend's death, Antonio might have been spared that part...
     
  20. FickleCrossroad Dormant Poet

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    That pressure-chamber torture scene was intense, to say the least.
     
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