July 3, 2012 in Washington, DC. Hundreds of thousands of people in the area are still without power after a long, extremely hot weekend. Thousands more came to town for the upcoming holiday, to protest or celebrate recent Supreme Court decisions on health care. The Senate remains in session, though many congressmen – along with Vice President Biden – have returned home to celebrate the Fourth with friends and family.
Glenn Dietrich, a well-connected player in Washington’s underworld, is spending the day operating out of his front, Room and Board Furniture at 14th and T Streets near the U Street Corridor and Logan Circle. The large, well-kept brick building is primarily a showroom on the first two floors, with office space on the third and a glass fourth floor. A large chunk of the top floor is Glenn’s day-to-day office, though he keeps a space on the third floor away from prying eyes.
Glenn spent years in the DEA before being turned by the Columbian Norte del Valle cartel, helping them smuggle in billions of dollars worth of cocaine over the US-Mexico border. He is now a well-heeled and well-connected player in Washington’s underworld. His paranoia, methodical nature, and caution always keep him at arm’s length from trouble, thumbing his nose at the authorities while acting right under theirs.
It’s unclear how Glenn heard of Joseph’s predicament, but he knows that he is looking for his brother’s killer. Darren fucked him over in the past, feeding him bad information which led to one of Glenn’s shipments getting busted. While he was able to keep his cool then, Glenn has decided that it’s time for the little man to go down. Darren will be out of the picture, and Joseph will be at rest, having achieved – at least in his mind – the vengeance he wanted. The karmic balance of the thing tickles his fancy; he’s quite pleased with his little joke.
He must simply impress upon Joseph to stay well away from his target, lest they get to talking – the whole thing might come unraveled. Might be worthwhile to give the man a decent hunting rifle if he doesn’t have means to keep him at length himself. Best to send someone along to drive him through the unfamiliar city to his target and ensure the plan doesn’t go pear-shaped. The grieving man’s a loose cannon, after all – wouldn’t do to have him bring the operation down because the man needed a heart-to-heart rather than simple vengeance.
Darren, meanwhile, is living a fairly quiet life in a run-down row house near First and P in Truxton Circle, not too far from Shaw. It’s a fairly crime-ridden area, lots of thefts, break-ins, and stolen cars, and though most crime is non-violent, there are random killings more often than many would like. Plenty of corners are host to homeless drifters and gang members, many of whom come from the neighborhood’s two-thirds black majority. The neighborhood has many social programs and 5 liquor stores in a tiny area – in brief, it’s a place where Stuff Goes Down.
As Joseph and Jules are driving over, a piercing pain shoots through everyone’s head and a bright light leaves them momentarily blinded, though their eyes are closed. When their eyes open, they remember that it felt terrible, but it’s as if they can’t remember the sensation. All of a sudden, planes are dropping from the sky, cars stop, and the lights go dark.