In addition to my job here at Kotaku, I work very hard on a bestselling, fictional series of video game novelizations. Last year, I published a gripping, lusty novel based on The Witcher 2. This year, I’ve been hard at work putting the finishing touches on my next novel based on Max Payne 3, tentatively titled Max Payne 3: The Flesh of Fallen Angels: The Novel.
Would you like to read an excerpt? You would? Okay! Here you go, an excerpt from chapter 9 of the book, in which one New Jersey mob boss hatches an insanely ambitious plan to kill Max. I hope you enjoy it.
“They killed my son! They killed my boy!”
Boss Anthony DeMarco was furious, inconsolable. His son Tony was dead at the hands of some ex-cop deadbeat named Payne. In one instant, the DeMarco family line had been snuffed out, and Anthony had lost a son. Payback was going to be a bitch.
“We are gonna get this guy, this... Payne,” DeMarco fumed. “We are going to make him pay, Tommy!”
Tommy Marcotti looked his boss. In his fifteen years serving as the DeMarco’s top lieutenant, he’d never seen the old man like this. Boss DeMarco was so furious he was drooling on himself, so mad his hands were shaking.
“Okay, boss,” Marcotti said. “We’ll put all our boys on it. Let’s come up with a battle plan. We’ve got some intelligence that Payne is visiting his dead wife’s grave at a graveyard in Jersey.” Marcotti pulled out a overhead map of the vast Jersey graveyard that the DeMarcos kept on hand.
“There may be another guy with him, some guy named Passos. So, two of them. We’ll send out Bobby and those two boneheads he hangs out with to take Payne out at his wife’s grave.”
“What about if he gets past them?” DeMarco asked, his voice still edging into a scream. “Then what?”
“There’ll be eight guys at the first part of the cemetery. Then we’ll have five more guys backing them up, and Tony B. will be on triple-backup in a car, in case they get through those first guys.”
“Take it easy, boss,” Marcotti said. “We’ve got all kinds of contingency plans.” He pointed to a spot on the map. “We’ll have five guys backing up Bobby’s three guys, so there’ll be eight guys at the first part of the cemetery. Then we’ll have five more guys backing them up, and Tony B. will be on triple-backup in a car, in case they get through those first guys.”
“Okay,” DeMarco said, “but what if they get by all of those guys?”
“Past the grave is a rotunda,” Marcotti explained, tapping a circular shape on the graveyard map. “So, we’ll stack up Benny and his boys near stairs leading up to it. Benny’s got a huge grenade launcher, and he’s got six guys with him with four more for backup. So in addition to the fourteen guys we first sent after Payne, we’ll have eleven guys with Benny at the rotunda.”
“Twenty-five guys.,” DeMarco said, his shoulders loosening a bit. “Keep going.”
“We’ll have ten more guys pull up behind the rotunda and fan out from there, with five more guys behind them.”
“So, a total of forty guys so far?”
“Yeah, give or take.”
“I don’t want you to underestimate this fucker,” said DeMarco, standing up. “He’s pretty dangerous.”
“We ain’t gonna underestimate him,” said Marcotti, reassuringly.
“I do have one question,” said DeMarco, who seemed reassured. “What’s to stop Payne from just running out of the graveyard in a different direction?”
“That won’t happen,” said Marcotti.
“Okay,” said DeMarco, lost in thought. “You’ve convinced me. Go on.”
“There’s another rotunda after the first one,” Marcotti explained, “So we’ll send Junior and his boys there. He’s got eight guys, all armed to the teeth, so between the nine of them they can probably hold the rotunda. We’ll have a backup team of five in place, though, in case something goes wrong.”
“After that,” he continued, pointing to a building on the map, “there’s an approach to a mausoleum. I’m gonna plant Frankie up top with a high-powered sniper rifle, so he can take Payne out if he gets past the fourteen guys at the second rotunda. But just in case, we’ll put eight of his boys down in the building below.”
“But what if Payne gets past them?” asked DeMarco.
“Well, we’ll have three more guys hiding inside the building in case Payne and his friend go inside. Which brings me to the next part of the plan. We’ll catch ‘em at the Mausoleum and bring them to you, just like you wanted. Piece of cake.”
“Good,” said DeMarco, his eyes widening. “This is the good part. I wanna watch those fuckers beg.”
“So,” continued Marcotti, “while all our guys were fighting at the grave, and the first rotunda, and the parking lot, and the second rotunda, and the mausoleum, you and me set up the gravesite like you wanted. It’ll be real dramatic. Once the boys at the mausoleum capture them, they’ll bring them to us there, and you can make them dig their own graves.”
Marcotti laughed. “It’s gonna be some poetic justice, boss.” DeMarco looked pleased.
“Just in case you leave them alone and they somehow escape,” Marcotti continued, “we’ve got another contingency plan.” He drew his finger down the map towards the southern end. “We’ll have five guys stationed in the parking lot outside of the main building, which is where they’ll come if they escape the gravesite. Then, we’ll plant some guys in the Morgue beneath the main graveyard building. Seems fittin’, no?”
“What seems fittin’?” asked DeMarco.
“The morgue. It’s fittin’ because if they go to the morgue, they’ll die there. Geddit?”
“Wait,” said DeMarco. “Why would they go into the morgue? Why wouldn’t they just run for it?”
“Stop overthinking this, boss,” said Marcotti.
“Once they’re in the morgue,” Marcotti said, “we’ll have three guys try to head them off in the operating room. If they make it past those three, they’ll probably head into the chapel to make a phone call. That’s when we hit ‘em with the big guns—we’ll send in about fifteen to twenty more guys to take them out.”
“So, ninety-four wiseguys to take down these assholes, then,” concluded DeMarco, counting on his fingers.
“Yeah, boss,” said Marcotti. “It seems like a solid plan to me.”
“Maybe,” said DeMarco, standing up. “Maybe. Don’t forget: This is Max Payne we’re talkin’ about. He’s one tough sonovabitch.”
“We pull this off,” Marcotti said, allowing a smile, “and there’ll be nothing standing between us and the Punchinellos.”
“Easy now,” said DeMarco. “We’re just one family. We ain’t the goddam National Guard.”
Will the DeMarcos emerge victorious? Will Max and Passos somehow survive the attack and live to fight (and fight, and fight) another day? Will Max Payne’s enemies ever run out of dudes for him to shoot? Fine out in the next chapter of Max Payne 3: The Flesh of Fallen Angels: The Novel. Maybe. Or maybe not.