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September, 2022

The SS Swelll Guy, Atlantic City, New Jersey

The weather was shitty in Atlantic City. It always was, and the sea was no better. The SS Swelll Guy (or so the speedboat declared itself to be) was buffeted by rain and waves, as were the three seafarers onboard. It was an unpleasant day for unpleasant business, just like the Segretos liked it. One of them anyway.

“I’m not saying I like cruddy weather, Jess,” claimed a far too jovial voice. “I’m just saying it’s appropriate-like, you know? Doin' crimes in the rain! Sea-crimes!”

Jess had no idea how her blue haired partner in crime could do it, looking on the bright side in such poor circumstances. Ever since being exiled to this horrible place, Jamie had been nothing but chipper come hell or high tide. Even when they got their teeth kicked in they muddled through with a bloody smile. She herself frankly found such naiveté delusional, given the nature of their work and the nature of their situation. She rolled her eyes at her companion and tried to give them a clue.

“The weather doesn’t matter, Jamie; if anything this makes it much harder to sail this hunk of junk! What if we hit something? What if we capsize?!”

Jamie smiled back, their eyes laughing, right hand on their hip and left pointing in a dramatic pose.

“Oh Jess, don’t be so dramatic. Look, your hair isn't even wet!”

As the Swelll Guy muddled through the storm, a wave crested it, drenching them both.

Jamie laughed. Jess set down the anchor, teeth clenched. God, she hated Atlantic City.

“Let’s just get this over with so we can get out of here.”

Jess magically fixed her hair and smoothed out her trenchcoat as she approached their 'guest': an old, ugly, balding man with a patchy beard, snot encrusted nose and a black eye. Unlike his companions, he was dressed entirely inappropriately for the weather, having apparently decided to wear a Hawaiian shirt and plaid, poorly fitting shorts.

He was sprawled on the boat like some sort of useless, pathetic, garbage thing.

The mobster moved to slap the man, before being stopped by her companion.

“Wait, wait, wait a minute here! You did the last guy, it’s my turn!”

Jess sighed. Handling her mafioso partner could at times be remarkably like handling a child.

“Jamie, I don't know, last time didn’t turn out so well, you should probably just let me…”

Jamie stared at Jess and made a face, a face filled with all the sadness and pleading of a small dog begging for food, a face not fit to be resisted by a beast, much less a mobster. A face that really said “Jesse if you don’t let me commit sea-crime on this man, I will guilt-trip you for the rest of our unnatural lives.”

“Ugh, fine!” said Jess. “Clearly you’re much more ruthless than I thought.”

Jamie gently shook the man, but he remained dead to the world. They shook him a bit harder, still nothing.

Jess rolled her eyes.

“Oh come on Jamie, slap him or something.”

“Don't backseat!”

Jamie slapped the man. No reaction.

“Damn, heavy sleeper.”

“I'll get a bucket of water.”

“No, come on, I've got this!”

Jamie slapped him again, hard enough to sting their hand.

He groggily began to awaken.

“Guess who's waking up over here?”

“Huh-wha?” said the bleary-eyed man.

“From where you're sitting it must seem like an 18-carat run of bad luck. Truth is… the game was rigged from th-”

“Jamie, are you seriously quoting New Vegas right now?”

“It’s apropos!”

Jess ran a hand through her still pristine hair, and pinched the bridge of her nose.

“No. It isn’t,” she said quietly. “We aren’t killing him or else we’d just send the Big Guy after him.”

“We aren’t?!” exclaimed Jamie “Wha- Jess, come on, you know communication is key to success in the workplace!”

“Jamie, come on, he’s the guy remember? He’s the guy!”

“What are you talking about?!” despaired Jamie.

“Where am I?” the man said, weakly.

“Christ, Jamie, did you dip into the amnestic supply again? Okay, I got this.” Jess cleared her throat and turned towards their guest. “You’re in a lot of trouble, buddy. Lost something that didn’t belong to you."

She gripped him by the shirt collar, slightly ripping its subpar fabric, and held his head over the edge of the boat.

“Now, with some other palookas, you’d already be sleeping with the fishes, but the Duke’s a forgiving sort.”

“Yeah! The Duke’s a nice guy!”

Thank you, Jamie.” said Jess between clenched teeth, then returned her attention to the struggling hungover man “You have one chance. Recover the case, bring it back to us, and you’re a free man. Fail to, or try to run?”

Jess motioned shooting a finger gun with ensuing sound effects.


It was at this point that the man’s shirt ripped entirely, and he fell into the water.

“Fuck!” exclaimed Jesse, searching the waves for the man.

“Oh! There he is!” yelled Jamie, pointing out a body quickly floating ashore. “He’s face up, I think he’s okay!”

“Thank God.” Jess said under her breath. “Well. At least it went better than last time.“

The storm raged on as the two mobsters stood in silence, watching the man wash ashore.

“We’re so cool,” Jamie said.

A large wave crested the boat, drenching them both.

A man wakes up on the shore. It is cold and clammy and he has a horrible pounding headache. He lost his shirt and he is drenched to the bone. His nipples are cold. He feels like shit; a familiar state of affairs. He turns away from the ocean, making him feel seasick by its mere presence. He turns away and hurls. He looks up and sees a city; it is familiar to him. He’s home, whether he likes it or not.

“Fuck, not again,” says Dr. William Wettle, as he looks upon Atlantic City.

Vikander-Kneed Technical Media



a Site-333 Venture


William Wettle

Vincent Bohart

Jesse Arion and Jamie Laufey

in association with the Segreto Crime Family

and introducing



Wettle checked himself over. No wallet, waterlogged phone, torn shirt. How did he get here? Why? Why would he ever come to Atlantic City? He had no memory of these things, save vague impressions. Images whirled through his mind: Site-22, a casino, a briefcase, Vincent Bohart. None of it lining up right. Well, nothing for it, Vincent would have the answers, and a line to Site-43. There was no point in putting it off; it was the last place Wettle wanted to be after all, and so surely where he would have to go. Just his luck.

He made to stand up and the world spun. He must have really had some night to get blackout drunk like that. Well, he'd had the right idea. Anything bringing him here was worth forgetting.

He stumbled his way towards Atlantic City. Towards Site-333, his old haunting grounds.

Unfortunately, upon his arrival at the Site, he reached his first hurdle: Tony Catalano, gatekeeper of the gift shop.

"Tony, for fuck's sake, you know me, we worked together!"

Tony looked him up down, turning his nose up.

"I don't think so, sir." he said. "Now, we may have a pretty liberal policy re: shirts and shoes, but, if you're not going to buy anything, I'll have to ask that you move on."

"My wallet's been stolen!" lamented the smelly scientist. "Come on, you know me! Wettle, William Wettle! Call Vinnie, get him down here."

Tony sniffed.

"Can't say I know anybody by that name."

Wettle could only tug his sparse hair in protest. What the hell did… oh.

Wettle sighed.

"It's Willie."

Tony perked up.

"What's that?"

"It's Willie, Wet Willie."

Tony let out a weaselly laugh.

"Well you should have just said so! I didn't recognize you in your… outfit." He laughed, tossing him an 'I heart Atlantic City' t-shirt. "And put a shirt on, you filthy animal!" he said, ushering Wettle to the Site offices.

As he went on his way, he caught a glance of Tony reflexively noting down a debt of $40 dollars from Site-43 for the shirt, along with other fanciful expenses Wettle had had nothing to do with. Some things never changed. Many Foundation Sites paid their employees well, exorbitantly so in some cases, something about them being the 'best of the best of the best', paying for secrecy, all that.

At Site-333, employees were lucky not to leave in debt. Not that Site-333 employees ever left. Not really. Once the Foundation had you, they never let you go; even the incompetents they sent to Atlantic City. You could always transfer out, to another Department, to another Site, but 333 wasn't exactly the cream of the crop. The only person he'd heard of getting out of 333 in recent memory was himself, and that's because William Wettle was a fucking maestro at replication studies; he certainly couldn't think of any other reason he'd been able to transfer to 43.

He hoped to find himself back to Site-43, back to Canada, soon, rather than this smelly, dingy, rented office space. The place looked worse off then it did when he started working there, if that was even possible. Boxes of files and miscellaneous objects littered the hallway, making movement difficult. Were it not for the thin layer of dust and the stains lining the carpet, one might think these were new tenants. And the less said about the bathroom the better. No, this was the decor of the hopeless, of those frightened of setting down roots lest they be ripped away, of those who asked "why bother?"

It'd happened before after all. Twice, famously so. First the amusement park, then the diner. Surely one would follow after this one as well. Peugh, someone could definitely stand to apply some Febreeze though, surely that wasn't too much to ask.

Wettle gagged as the smell overpowered him. This was worse than any scent Willie had smelled, worse than the time he’d been trapped in an outhouse as a child, worse than the time he’d tried VKTM smell-o-vision technology. The smell worsened as he approached the office of Vincent Bohart, Director of Site-333.

He knocked on the office door before barging in to find the man eating the most foul smelling fish he'd ever experienced as he looked over pictures of extravagant toilets.

“Willie? Wet Willie? As I live and breathe! Come here buddy!”

Before he knew it, William Wettle was wrapped in the tree trunk like limbs of his former coworker, smelling his fishy breath up close and personal.

“Hello, Vincent.” he said, dripping with as much sarcasm and loathing as humanly possible. The other man either did not notice, or pretended not to.

“What are you doing here?! Our meeting at 22 make you nostalgic for the old place? You finally decide to come home from moose country? The Canadians decide they don’t want you anymore, eh? Eh? Eh?”

Wettle ignored the fake Canadian accent and suggestion of a joke.

"Actually… I'm not sure why I'm here," said Wettle, "I kind of just… washed up here."

"That bad huh?" laughed Vincent. "I certainly can't blame you with how bad I beat you at cards last night at 22."

"I don't remember that at all."

"Ha! Mission success then, huh?"

"Guess so." Wettle hesitated, feeling the need to ask "Hey, it's silly, but do you know anything about a briefcase by any chance?"

"Your briefcase!" exclaimed Bohart. "Of course, of course. Is that what you're after? Well you lost it to me fair and square. As my good friend Randall House always says, 'The Bohart Always Wins'! haha. No refunds."

Director House had likely never said this, but Site-333 employees wouldn't be wrong to. Vincent was a perpetual gambler and cheat, maybe even an addict, but he was damn good at it. Compared to the rubes at 333, anyway; he couldn't have been that good for how deep in gambling debt Vince always was. When Wettle'd been there, Vince used to always clean up at the weekly poker tournaments, screwing the crew out of their meager wages - Wettle most of all - only to lose it all at the casino the next day.

Wettle didn't gamble or play games of chance; he was a perpetual loser, sometimes he even felt like the Loser. His brand of luck didn’t play well with them, so he avoided playing, unless he was really hating himself. He hadn’t been a consistent gambler since… well, since he worked at Site-333. Apparently he'd been having quite the night to resort to such a thing. His thrumming headache could attest to that much.

"Any chance I could get that back?" Wettle asked weakly. "For old times' sake?"

“Well, now, I wouldn't do that for just anybody. But, well, for a friend I just might.”

"So you'll give it to me?" Wettle asked, hopeful despite himself.

“I don’t know, Willie; are you my friend?”

God no, absolutely not, no way in Hell would anybody willingly be this loser's friend.

“Yes.” Wettle said tersely, teeth grit.

Really? You don’t sound like you mean it."

“I’m your friend.”

“I can’t hear you!”

“I’m your friend!”

“My best friend?”

Wettle sighed.

“Sure, your best friend.”

Vincent grinned like the cat that caught the canary, and Wettle knew he had fucked up.

Well, Wettle, if we’re such good friends, then you shouldn’t mind doing me a favor, hm?”

This couldn’t be good.

Wettle, still hungover and sick to his stomach, entered the Brutus along with Vincent. How he got roped into this, he had no idea. Surely he didn't need the suitcase in question that badly? He barely remembered the thing, and he'd been willing to gamble it away, it couldn't be that important, right? Surely his past self wouldn't have done anything so stupid? Well, this was Wettle, apparently a drunk one too, so it could have been the holy grail and he'd still probably have frittered it away.

Vincent asked him this one favor first, then he'd get the suitcase back, call Site-43, get travel arrangements set for the way home and be back in time for dinner. What could go wrong?

Except he was in a casino with Vince Bohart, in Atlantic City; anything could go wrong. He was expected to gamble, too.

“Uh, Vincent, I’m still not so sure this is a good idea,” said Wettle “I’m not, ah, very good at poker.”

“It’ll be fine Willie, it’ll be fine. I’ve got it all planned out, you see? You don’t have to win, we just have to make the others lose so I can win.”


"Don't worry your pretty little head about it, Willie. You're my good luck charm! Just sit near me so I can rub your head."

Vincent noogied him, a sign of things to come.

An hour later, two men were getting booted out of the casino and barred from future entry.

“Damn it, I was sure that would work.” said Vincent Bohart, the would-be mastermind, standing up and stretching his aching back.

“How was that even supposed to work, Vincent?” asked Wettle. “You know how bad I am at cards.”

“Ha, I sure do, flushed you out of your paycheck more than enough times in our day. That was part of the plan."

“But how-” Wettle began to ask, before deciding he didn't really want to know the inner-workings of a Sokolsky wannabe with an IQ of 50. “Fuck it, drinks are on you, let’s go to the Rusty Cow.”

“Aw Wettle you old softie, you still remember that place?”

No shit he did; he’d wiled the nights away more than a few times there with the guys from the Site, on nights where he really should have gone home to Rita. Seeing all those Site-333 lifers, night after night with no-one to go home to; well, it’s where he'd really learned the meaning of rock bottom. Where he'd decided he’d be better, do better.

Look how that’d turned out, eh?

He did make it to Forty-Three, to Canada. A new place, new people, a new start. Where the genius of William Wettle might finally be appreciated.

But it wasn’t to be, Wet Willie would always remain who he was inside. Like a little piece of Atlantic City had been lodged within from birth.

Hell, maybe he’d been praying to the same thing that’d caused that Rapture Event all those years ago, that wouldn’t be too farfetched. Dr. William Wettle, patron saint of Atlantic City. He’d heard odder.

The Rusty Cow stank worse than the Site. Like hopelessness and regret, and stories best left forgotten. Vincent ordered two drinks from the bartender, they were vaguely brown and smelled of paint thinner, the men both downed them, Wettle’s headache let up some.

“Just like old times, eh Willie?”

It was. Being pulled in the undertow of Site-333 and its staff’s schemes, failure ensuing, winding up at the bar, waking up hungover to do it all over again; it was just like old times. Like a puzzle piece that fits in perfectly, like coming home. But it was an ugly picture, a broken home. Wettle was in replication studies, he knew the pattern, couldn’t let himself get caught in it again, lest he remain stuck. Just one more drink.

“Just one more drink.” Wettle said, as if voicing it would make it so.

“That’s the spirit, Willie.” cheered Vincent, ordering another round, “Always one more.”

Wettle drank in the surroundings as the liquid burned down his throat. The bar hadn’t changed in the past two decades, either. Same bartender, same decor; he even recognized some of the patrons. Worse for wear of course, but not unrecognizable. There was Lonely Susan, Small Jack, even Bob the Plumber and…

Wettle felt a pang in his head at the sight of a stranger. Wettle glanced at them again, like an idiot, and he was feeling as he had when he first washed up there this morning.

Exactly the same sort of pain. Hm, was it really due to the…

Wettle glanced over again, the vague silhouette looked right at him. He elbowed Vincent, and nudged unsubtly in their direction. Vincent’s eyes widened.

“Oh, shit; Segretos,” he whispered under his breath.


“Shhhh” loudly motioned Bohart. “Not so loud, I don’t think they've noticed us yet. Act natural, let's step out the back.”

Wettle downed the rest of the oily substance and the two drunks stumbled their way towards the side door.

The Segretos. Wettle knew of them, of course, everybody at 333 did. Couldn’t so much as jaywalk in Jersey without their say so, and they were as influential behind the Veil as outside of it. You crossed them, and you didn’t just disappear; it was like you were never born. Truer successors to the Chicago Spirit there may not be.

And so it was damn distressing that Vincent recognized one. Sure it was possible Bohart was assigned to an anomaly or investigation concerning them; hell, he was the Site Director, he’d know about that anyway. Any other Site, any other city, any other man would deserve the benefit of the doubt. But this was Site-333, Wettle knew how things worked here.

“How much do you owe them, Vincent?” he asked, as they quickly turned a corner down an alleyway.

“Are you implying I’d associate myself with an enemy GoI, Willie?” Bohart said, side-eyeing him.

“Don’t bullshit me, Bohart, not when you got me roped into this.”

“Damn it Wettle, if you’d just followed the plan, I’d have it all back by now.”

“What ‘plan’?” hissed Wettle. “The one that failed miserably? That plan?”

They turned another corner.

"Will you quit criticizing me and focus on where we're going?"

"I was following you!"

"Oh, so now you follow my directions," said Vincent, rolling his eyes.

"You live here, you piece—"

Suddenly Wettle felt cool metal on his back, and was interrupted by a suave feminine voice.

"The only piece you need to worry about, dear doctor, is the one to your back."




Find out next time! Same Wet-time, Same Wet-channel!



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