The Bold and The Determined
Capitol City Criminal History
Capitol City, despite its grand name, remained small and unimportant until Prohibition started. Local bootleggers and moonshiners needed a friendly place to tranship their wares and hide their boats. With the long approach from the Bay, lookouts with radios (or later, telephones) could be placed to provide ample warning of the approach of Federal agents by boat or ship. Peppino “Peppy” Malone made an offer to the Mayor and Sheriff – turn a blind eye and accept a personal cut and “taxes” off the profits and Peppy would keep the bootlegging discreet.
Seeing the advantage of adding a second “industry” to the taxbase (not to mention the personal financial incentives), the Mayor and Sheriff agreed. Peppy paid to improve the docking facilities and had warehouses built for “Malone Shipping”. Look out posts were established to warn of approaching Revenue agents and a small hotel was built to house members of the Malone gang and any rumrunners that needed to lie low for a while.
Peppy started bringing in alcohol from stills hidden in Virginia and points south and from ships in Rum Row off the coast. The alcohol would arrive by boat and be unloaded at one of the new docks in an area obscured from sight, keeping the agreement between Peppy and the Mayor. The alcohol would then be readied for distribution by truck or fast car and sent to speak-easys closer to Washington D.C. and the various naval bases on Chesapeake Bay.
As more booze was shipped through Capitol City, the Malone organization grew and the town did as well. The “taxes” paid to the city by Malone Shipping allowed for improvements to the town infrastructure and “salary adjustments” to the city council to keep things running smoothly.
In order to provide a veneer of legitimacy to his cover organization and new revenue streams, Peppy had Malone Shipping purchase three small ships. He had two of the ships rigged for hauling cargo (mostly locally grown tobacco) and one as a floating casino and brothel. The casino/brothel ship, the Devonian, sailed twice a week for two day excursions out beyond US territorial waters. The cost to get in was fair, the drinks cheap, the women good looking, and the house’s take of the gambling reasonable. Cost of entry for city council members and the sheriff was free. This was later extended to sheriff deputies as well.
When prohibition ended, the Malone gang was entrenched in Capitol City, which was starting to grow to meet its lofty name. Peppy had expanded Malone Shipping to a small fleet of cargo ships and smaller fleet of casino ships that ran up and down the East Coast. Several other businesses that took advantage of Malone Shippings good rates and cheap (stolen or counterfeit) goods opened offices in Capital City. A local college had been established which drew faculty that was willing to work cheap due to “troubled” employment histories and the need for a second chance. Enrollment was low initially, but it grew over time, especially after World War Two.
After World War Two, the Malone gang started to factionalize over the introduction of narcotics. The Don recognized that the sale of narcotics in Capitol City had the potential of breaking his agreement with the City Council to keep operations discrete. Cesare “Double Z” Zarrazina, one of the Don’s newer lieutenants, saw the immense profits to be made and felt that the gang had enough control to run the city, City Council or no City Council. Zarrazina made a deal with the “Diamond” Nick Bartalucci of New York for additional muscle and support and then made his bid for control of the family in 1951.
The mob war lasted nearly two years and ended when the City Council was forced to ask the FBI to intervene. The FBI investigations led to the arrests of both mobsters, sheriff deputies, local judges, and particularly corrupt members of the city council. The replacements to the City Council ran on “Law and Order” planks and were elected by a landslide. Little known at the time was the fact that most of these candidates were funded by the organization KRAKEN. Additionally, Don Peppy was able to utilize favors owed him by several senators to avoid prosecution and went into retirement, moving to Las Vegas.
For the rest of the 50’s and the early 60’s, Capitol City grew by emphasizing its cleaned up reputation and was a modest city by 1963. The city’s criminal underworld had learned its lesson about becoming too visible and reorganized into several smaller families: the Malone Family, the di Centa Family, the Scarpelli Family, and the Bartalucci Family. With the growth of the city and its economy, there was money enough for everyone and turf battles were rare. More importantly, the “Arrangement” with the remaining old guard members of the City Council was re-established and slowly expanded to include some of the newer members of the City Council.
Things started to crumble as the 70’s started. With the downturn in the economy, growth stopped and turf wars between the Families and the street gangs associated with them became more numerous. In 1978, the di Centa’s and the Scarpelli’s went to war for control of the heroin trade in southern Maryland and northern Virginia. With mobsters being hit on an almost daily basis, the Malone’s and the Bartalucci’s were concerned about the Arrangement being broken and so stepped in to end it quick. In a combined offensive, Malone buttonmen and Bartalucci thumb-breakers quickly moved in and took out both the di Centa’s and the Scarpelli’s. The Malone’s took over the drug trade, the Bartalucci’s took over numbers and stolen goods rackets, and they split the rest of it between them. It was not until the 80’s, when Cocaine became King, that it became clear that the Malone’s had gotten the better of the deal.
It was also during this time that KRAKEN started gaining influence over the Malone Family. In 1984, Julias Malone retired as the head of Malone Shipping and as the Don of the Malone Family. His oldest son, Eduardo “Eddy” Malone, was given control of Malone Shipping, but his eldest child, his daughter Lara, was given control of the Family. Lara had shown an aptitude for “the business” and had gained supporters among the capos by developing new rackets dealing with white collar crime. She also brought in a source of advanced weapons for the Family to use.
The members of the Malone family and their client street gangs started carrying these advanced weapons. This made them more fearsome and allowed the gangs to start encroaching on Bartalucci territory. The few times the Bartalucci gangs pushed back, they were cut down by the superior firepower of the Malone gangs. This led to Bartalucci client gangs abandoning them and joining up with the Malone’s. Seeing the writing on the wall, the Bartalucci Don sued for peace with the Malone’s in 1989. This allowed the Bartalucci’s to continue to operate as a family, but they were now subservient to the Malone Family. That fact rankles the Bartalucci Family to this day.
In 1988, Eddy Malone nearly lost control of Malone Shipping, Incorporated, to corporate raiders. Lara used the Family’s muscle to “convince” several of the raiders to change their mind and staved off the attack. In 1991, Lara had to keep corporate raiders from taking control of Malone Shipping from her brother for the second time. Having had enough of this, she tapped her alliance with KRAKEN for the necessary deep resources to fend off the raiders and to seize direct control of Malone Shipping herself. She installed herself as CEO, put in a loyal puppet as president and restructured the company’s finances so she would never have to go through this again. In the process, she discovered she liked corporate raiding and picked it up as a hobby.
By the end of the 1990’s, the Malone Family had control of several powerful members of the Capitol City city government and the Capitol City Police Force, control of several judges on local, state, and federal levels, and control of several members of Congress. This has made Capital City a ripe plum that several groups are wont to pick. Additionally, more superhoeroes started noticing that things are not quite right in Capitol City and looking closer. Finally, several of the underworld factions started to get tired of the Malone’s being on top.
In 2005, the whole world came crashing down on the Malone’s. The Cape-KRAKEN War was a disaster for both KRAKEN and the Malones as enough documentary evidence was seized at the end of the War to implicate virtually every member of the Malone Family, most of the executives at Malone Investment Group, and the entire board of Malone Investment Services. An IRS raid on the Malone Investment Services’s corporate headquarters produced evidence of considerable graft and corruption between the Malone Family and the Capitol City government, leading to sweeping arrests (and yet another “Special Election” to replace the arrested city government officials).
After the debris settled, the Bartalucci Family emerged in control of large parts of the criminal underworld in Capitol City. They have spent the last three years consolidating their control and laying low to let the heat die and the “Arrangement” come back into play.
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