Mobland Archipelago

We dusted off Archipelago by Matthijs Holter to create a mobland story set in Chicago shortly after the stock market crash in the fall of 1929. There are three of us. Police Officer Jack, who lost all his savings in the crash. Jack’s broker is Lionel Bridges, whose brokerage is collapsing along with the market and is only a few steps in front of his creditors. Finally, Jack’s childhood friend is Tony, a mobster who runs the neighborhood, the local speakeasy and gambling dens.

Our story begins with Jack talking on the phone with Lionel because the bank is threatening to foreclose on his house. Lionel reassures him that the bank can’t possibly act quickly enough for him to lose his house; the bank will probably collapse first. The police chief comes in and orders him to investigate Tony; they want to shut the speakeasy down.

Down at his speakeasy, The Open Mouth, Tony is talking with Lionel and learns about another speakeasy that has opened up recently on the other side of the neighborhood, which shouldn’t be news to Tony but is. He tasks Lionel with finding out who runs the place. So, Lionel high tails it over the other joint and discovers that it’s run by the brothers who call themselves the Copperhead Gang. Unfortunately, he bumps into one of them on his way out, one who believes the crash is a hoax perpetrated by brokers to steal their client’s money. And he wants his money back now.

Next we see Jack meeting with Tony and offering to keep the police off his trail if Tony can help him with his money problems. He also tells him that Sam of the Copperheads believes in a conspiracy around the market crash. So, Tony goes to the drug store to confront the Copperhead brothers. When he mentions Lionel, Sam spouts off on his conspiracy theories while his brother, Giulio, leaves to find Lionel. Without his brother around, Tony overpowers Sam and leaves him inside after setting fire to the building. Across town, Giulio mows Lionel down in the street with a Tommy gun in a drive by. Then Giulio goes after Tony, firing indiscriminately into the Open Mouth and throwing Molotovs inside to set it ablaze in revenge for his brother.

Jack, having collected enough from Tony after his tip off, pays the bank off for his house but then hears about Guilio’s hit on Tony’s place. Shocked, he goes after Giulio alone, determined to bring him down. He manages to sneak his revolver into the Copperhead club and shoots Giulio but then he shoots himself. The camera pulls back from Jack’s dead body and stops high above it before the screen goes black.