Max: So I guess I was finally about to go and experience the other side of Sao Paulo firsthand. The bit people try to ignore, the unpleasant memory they try to obliterate with cocktails and helicopters and parties and lines of blow. Like rich fools the world over. I was a day off the sauce the first time in years and knew I was due a hangover sent direct from mother nature. I had no idea where the hell I was going to go so I decided to head straight for the street party that seemed to be raging. Either that or some other fool had gotten there before me and now was being ritually sacrificed. I've had better ideas but then I also had worst ones. Like accepting this job in the first place.
Get lost, kid. You speak English? You ever seen this, girl? Fabiana. Come here for a second, look at her.
Kid: I know lots of girls. Sexy. Come on! Come on! This way!
Max: Where you going? Wait a minute. Down there?
Kid: This way, come on!
Max: At least I had found myself a tour guide.
Kid: Hurry, mister! Party!
Max: The way I see it there's two types of people. Those who spend their lives trying to build a future and those who spend their lives trying to rebuild the past. For too long I've been stuck in-between. Hidden in the dark. What was I really doing walking in there with my bad hair cut and ridiculous shirt? Was I there to make something right? Or was I just using a messed up situation to indulge myself, grasp at some desperate delusion of control? Maybe the two went hand in hand more than I cared to admit.
I had stumbled into some kind of street party. This was the kind of reality Americans paid top dollar to see. So long as it become a tourist attraction this place was where yuppies could gawk at the endless spirit of the poor from the inside of their bulletproof buses. I felt dumb and exposed. I missed the booze. Not that it mattered, sober or drunk I was hardly undercover. I stood out in this place like a street walker in monastery.
Gunman: What you one of those?
Max: What do you need, guys? What do you need? Easy, pal, easy. Look, I didn't mean any offense. Jesus! All things considered I was going to have to look on this as a good outcome. I was deep in gang territory. These kids were raised hating clowns like me. Middle income ass-kickers who protected the rich by shooting kids like them. First day off the sauce and somehow I still ended up in the gutter. If there was thing I learned since I been here it was that Brazilians came out of the womb kicking a ball, and for kids like these it was their one legal chance at a ticket out of here.
I'm a little lost. I need a phone. A telephone. Well, they weren't going to help me and who could blame them? I was a dumb American in a place where dumb Americans were less popular than the clap. If I was going to find my way out of this mess I was on my own. It looked like there was a bar up ahead. The irony was not lost on me. I figured sobriety was no use to me dead.
I hoped this classy looking establishment would have a phone so I could call Passos. That or a gun so I could shoot myself and save these kids the bother. Hey, you got a telephone? When you're stuck in a foreign country and you don't know the words for reverse charges, and you're in some lonely skin joint in the middle of some poor slum having just had every last cent robbed from you and you call yourself a body guard, then you know you're a loser.
Wilson: Hey, man. Can I buy you a beer?
Max: Do I know you?
Wilson: No, I don't think so.
Max: Look, if you're going to shoot me make it quick I'm a little busy.
Wilson: If I was going to shoot you I wouldn't waste a beer.
Max: I'm trying to dry out a bit so just a soda, please.
Wilson: Sure. Why don't you go sit down? Interesting haircut by the way. I meant to tell you that.
Max: Yeah, well.
Wilson: Wilson DaSilva. Very good to meet you.
Max: Nice to meet you, I think.
Wilson: Although you'll forgive me if I promise never to employee you as my bodyguard. You did a great job watching after Rodrigo Branco.
Max: Fuck you.
Wilson: You were set up.
Max: You bet your ass I was.
Wilson: Now, let me ask you something. Have you ever seen this guy? Serrano.
Max: Yup. He's a real sweetheart.
Wilson: Yeah, we sure put his gang out of business. But don't worry, those guys they're small fry. This is the guy I'm interested in. Neves, and this is his little buddy here, Milo Rego. They work for this vigilante group, Cracha Preto.
Max: Yup, I know them.
Wilson: They're very popular with right wing politicians, like Victor Branco. Now you see many years ago he helped clear some villages on a bit of land. Rodrigo Branco wanted to develop.
Max: Rodrigo Branco?
Wilson: Yes, he did some very bad things. Anyway, have you ever seen this guy?
Max: Maybe at the stadium.
Wilson: I knew you were involved in that business. You know? I wanted to investigate that but I got an order to blame it on some local street kids instead. Tell me, what happened there?
Max: Nothing, we simply went to hand over some cash to this guy's clowns for a ransom exchange when this guy's clowns jumped us and then shot everybody.
Wilson: Apart from you and your boy Passos.
Max: That's right. We had to shoot our way out of there.
Wilson: They let you go. It's okay, it's a little weird right now but I know that Victor Branco is involved in all this I just don't know how or why. And I know the UFE are involved in all this as well, but I just don't know how or why. And you know what's going to happen? The moment is going to come along when I put all these pieces together and at that moment someone's going to come along and put a bullet in my head! Anyway listen, you might want this.
Max: Thank you. I'll need it.
Wilson: And if it's Fabiana Branco you've come looking for, I think she's up the hill.
Max: So why don't you just go get her?
Wilson: I don't know. If I'm a cop, I'll fight corruption, I'll stand up to the rich and dumb, but if I go up that hill right now I'll be dead in three minutes or less. Maybe you too, Max. You're in the jungle now.
Max: So it appears.
Wilson: If you survive the next hour let's speak. You help me and I'm going to do what I can to help you. Good luck.
Max: I didn't know what to make of what this guy had just told me. What was true or what was just someone else's convenient bullshit. Then some less than friendly locals came in and found me in the wrong mood to party.