The Push
Day one. A blaze of red.

May 5, 1983

This was supposed to be a calm evening, just like it had been for the last month. The Japanese gangs weren’t being antagonistic, just tagging anything they thought should be theirs and it seemed everything they’d wanted was in their held territory. Lynn was entertaining her family that night, Randy was trying a new and different whiskey recipe, Barnold was being sent to get the bar’s bi-weekly resupply and Alex was just in the wrong place at the right time to see it all happen.

As Barnold crossed over from the neon haze of the bar strip it seemed as though the red in the air wasn’t fading. It had been over a month since the last clash between the Vietnamese and Japanese gangs, so it was a bit overdue, but this was just eerie. When he arrived at Randy’s apartment he rapped on the window with a pebble.“Oi Randy, it’s me, Barnold. I’m comin’ in.” The front door of the apartment building was unlocked as usual and Randy greeted him at the door. The place smells like a still, but well that’s because it is. Randy’s got a good operation running out of here. At least as good as you can do with copper tubing, pvc pip and a reconfigured air conditioning unit from home depot. “Barnold! It’s good to see you man! Have you got some time? I’m making this new whiskey and so far it’s turning out super pure. Tastes like just whiskey. None of that other shit that finds it way in there. Just pure whiskey!”
“It still got alcohol in it?”
“Well ya.”
“Fuck yea. Pour me a double.”
When Randy comes back he also has a tape with Return of the Jedi scrawled on the case. “Also, you have got to see this. IT HASN’T EVEN HIT THEATERS YET!

Out on the streets you can hear the rhythmic thump of boots on the ground. Blocks back a playground is in ruins after being picked apart, a fence torn down and two cars broken into and wrecked. Shinjiro and his gang are on the mark after this long month. As they cross through the established border between the two territories they stop at the very edge. Lynn and her guests have already heard the boot steps. Lynn has ushered everyone into the basement and she’s watching what they’re doing from behind a shaded window, Tokarev TT 43 in hand, thinking that she’d left all of this behind but ready to defend her home and way of life again. Shinjiro launches into a speech in Japanese, growing more and more agitated and energetic as he continues.

Alex hears the speech from the back alley. After taking a peak out of the alley and seeing how agitated and restless the gang is becoming with every word she ducks back into the alley and slides behind a dumpster. Randy is calling the fire department, nobody wants to see this escalate to arson, but if it does, then it won’t last long.

As Shinjiro finishes his speech after a moment of silence a warcry is the bellowed response from his gang as they march across the street with clubs, crowbars and unlit molotov cocktails in hand. As the first of them sets foot on Lynn’s apartment property heralded by the shattering tinkle of windows, he is met with a bullet in the torso. Time out of the jungle hasn’t dulled Lynn’s reflexes at all as she calls out to her guests in the basement to leave out the back and take her daughter with them. With a shot fired, Barnold calls up his Vietnamese drug contact to let them know they should get their asses in place if they want to seem useful. Alex pokes her head out again and sees a man fall to the ground as cocktails are lit. As Shinjiro’s men reach the front of Lynn’s apartment another one falls to a gun shot as Lynn commands one of her relatives, Uncle Phong, to keep her daughter safe.. They pound on the door and those with crowbars start pulling at the steel burglar bars in the window frame. The first cocktail to be thrown falls miserably short, landing on the lawn unbroken.

Seeing the focus of the street gang on getting into the apartment building Alex makes a dash across the lot and grabs 2 cocktails from bags unnoticed by the gangers. “Fuckin’ amibitious hobo” Is all that comes out of Barnold at this. Another crack and a third gangster falls to the ground injured as the burglar bars are pulled loose from the wall. With the window opened, the remaining gangster’s begin to pour through the window. As the first one vaults through, Lynn puts a bullet through his chest right next to his heart and he collapses along with his lung. Alex seeing them begin to pour through the window throws a cocktail into the crowd, catching and igniting two of the gang members. Inside of the apartment of the gang members closes with Lynn, landing a blow with the hastily sharpened edge of a crowbar. 2 more of his comrades follow him through the window, one of them unlocking the door from the inside as Lynns shoots at her assailant while falling back, however he appears to be made of sterner stuff, refusing to acknowledge his wound. Retreating to the back Lynn’s assailant keeps pace, landing another blow on her as the front door swings open admitting the few remaining gang members, including Shinji, into the apartment.

Lynn fires one last shot into her assailant, slowing him down as she turns and runs left down the alley, breaking into a sprint. Out fron Alex smashes her last molotov cocktail at her feet after trying to draw the attention of the remaining gangsters and then flees the scene. The wounded gang members pay her little attention, instead trying to put out their flaming friends or calling for assistance at the corner payphone. Despite her injuries Lynn manages to outpace her pursuers and they lose sight of her as she turns into the alley behind Randy’s apartment. Barnold saw this coming and was waiting with the back door open. When she passes past the back alley, she sees the opened door and takes the opportunity, having enough of a lead on her pursuers that she seems to have disappeared.

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Meanwhile the Vietnamese dealers pull up and start working over the remaining Japanese gang members, The Japanese reinforcements show up around the same time as the fire department. As the two gangs start to clash the fire department hoses them down while administering first aid to the injured. When the police arrive they arrest a few of the gang members on either side and block off Lynn’s apartment for investigation. The murder investigation is quickly wrapped up and it already seems to be written up as a gang violence casualty and unlikely to be investigated much further.

Lynn borrows Randy’s phone to get in contact with people her guest might have gotten too. None of them have seen Phong or Cindy. She waits and hears nothing until 1, when she gets a phone call from Phong saying that he and Cindy had gotten separated from everyone else and surrounded by a group of Japanese hoods. Phong had been able to escape, but they’d managed to get Cindy…


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