- Opening line: center of everything, middle of nowhere. Mikela Danvers background. Description of Hartlin City.
- HCPD officerRyan Weidell getting a check in the mail, justifying his corruption. Claims there is no syndicate action in Hartlin City.
- Stockton syndicate, led by Larry Mason, discussing attempt to move in on Hartlin City. Difficulties of going out of province. Mason indicates that, just to be prepared, he has laid the groundwork by identifying politicians, law enforcement agents, and business people who are susceptible to either bribery or intimidation, and in fact has a few of them on his payroll just in case.
- Meeting of leaders of the Stockton League; their informants have been momitoring the activity of Mason and his associates and suspect something is going to happen, but do not know what.
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