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Less than a decade ago Miami was a sleepy family holiday destination with a resident population of retirees waiting to die. Today it is a metropolis and the locus of gang violence escalating far beyond the control of the police and far beyond the scale of anything witnessed in the history of America. Comparisons to prohibition – era Chicago are frequent but this is the eighties – everything is bigger.
At least 80% of all cocaine to enter the US passes through Miami, which, given the current climate is a shitload of coke. An estimated one out of ten American workers use cocaine on the job.
Gang shootings and bombings are common and indiscriminate, taking place in shopping malls and airports in broad daylight. Mobsters of the disposable plastic generation find it easier, cheaper and faster to throw their military-grade hardware aside and grab the next weapon than to reload.
In a desperate attempt to gain control of the situation the police force has engaged in a massive recruitment drive, drastically reducing the application restrictions on substance abuse and flooding the force with users and people connected to and dependent on the trade. Among rampant corruption the line between gangster and officer has become increasingly blurred. Even the principled few still working for the law are forced to operate largely outside official protocol and are rarely above abusing their power to meet their ends- or confiscating a sweet convertible to match their pastel Armarni jacket.
Things aren’t all bad. For some reason despite lacking any real industry Miami has thrived during the current recession. Property prices are sky high, as are the countless construction cranes erecting high rises lined with neon to bring more light to ocean drive.
The mean age of the population has dropped two decades. The nightlife has exploded. Miami is now a centre for New Wave pop culture, fashion, music and visual arts. Most roads are outfitted with a place to buy a luxury car or a designer watch.
So how do you fit into this? Are you a mafia enforcer? A corrupt cop? A mole on either side? The last good man on the force? A haunted DEA agent trying to work in a hostile environment? A vapid fashion model here to be in front of the sunsets and palm trees?
If you can even remember who you are; you have consumed a lot of drugs recently. Whatever. Who gives a shit. Just do what the people with the animal faces say and everything will probably be okay.
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