"Maxi ma boy! How's business?"
Leonard Goldstein. His condescending tone always irritates me. He's 63 years of age, and my appearance is one of a 35 years old man so he finds it appropriate to call me "Maxi." In every one of my lives my body stops aging at 35 years.
It is a shame that I have to partner up with such despicable excuse of a human being but it was the best way to get within the inner circle of higher society in New York. Inside the belly of the beast if you will.
After starting business with this man I found that humanity hasn't changed much since my last fraternisation with the race. The powerful still rule, and weak are still trampled upon. Throughout history people started becoming more vigilant about injustices done to them by those in power. They started rebelling, overthrowing kingdoms, and taking back their lands. I though they have finally grew a collective spine.
But as people became more aware of the corruption among those with power, the elite responded with more devious ways to maintain their power. The New York elite aren't much different; their money can buy not only material thing, it can also buy the minds and souls of others. Politicians, police officials, and even judges. The wealthy few in New York all have their hands in a few of these agencies. And Leonard is no different.
"Hello Leonard. Business is well, thank you for asking."
"That's good to hear"
Leonard and I are in acquainted in business. Several legal, and some illegal. I needed an information network in the underbelly of New York and Leonard provided the capital needed to set up such network. He has no idea about my real motives of course, all he knows is the surface of the business. And frankly all he cares about is his money so if business is good, he needn't ask any more.
"Well, since business is outta the way, come on sit, sit! how're you doing Max?"
I grab the seat opposite to his. Whenever we meet, we meet at this exact table. Directly opposite the bar in the far side of the restaurant. That's his favourite table.
A waiter drops a menu in front of us both.
"Thank you, Will " I say.
"You're welcome, sir. Just let me know when you're ready to order"
Will has been serving us for last 3 years. He's just a young kid, but he understands how the real world works. He had a tough life growing up with incompetent parents so he had to fend for himself and his younger sister. Working whatever the streets provided; from drug dealing, to pizza delivery. He learned many things during that chapter of his life.
One day we crossed paths and I seen promise in this young boy, so I offered him a job in my restaurant. This restaurant. Little did Leonard know I owned the restaurant. Now Will works for me in two capacities. A waiter, and an informant. He provides me with any important information traveling in the underground whenever I ask for them.
"Listen here Max, I know how hard you work managing all our enterprises and don't think I didn't notice. Today, I'm gonna reward you for your hard work. I'm gonna introduce you to Frank Santoro, I know how much you've been wanting to meet him and I think you're ready to take your skills to the next level."
Finally! Ever since I joined the elite society of New York I've been hearing about Santoro and his influence. He controls the largest importing business therefore he controlled the flow of illegal goods in the city which meant he is a checkpoint to almost all illegal activity in the city. And if I want to wreak havoc as a villain, I'll need to know the flow of illegality in the city.
"Thank you Leonard, I appreciate your help"
"Come on Maxi, we're family! And family looks out for one another"
Leonard Goldstein. This human piece of trash. Everything he does leads to the same goal. Him getting richer. He expect my working with Santoro to make him richer but he is miserably mistaken.
Once I meet Santoro I won't need Leonard any longer, I will take control of his illegal empire with ease and make sure he rots in prison for the rest of his life. I don't particularly care for humans, but one type is especially infuriating. The type to trample on others without a care. The type to step on the poor to get rich. This type of humans certainly is abominable.
That is why once I achieve what I need from this group of entitled scum I will serve them to justice for their crimes. I don't care enough to punish them myself but I know other humans who were wronged wish to see justice so they should deal with him.
Once he is out of the organisation there will be no one in law enforcement to bribe, and his so called elite 'friends' wouldn't care enough to help him so he will definitely get what he deserves.
After an insufferable hour or so of complete nonsensical talk from Leonard, we parted ways, and I headed back home.
I preferred walking through the city whenever I get the chance. I walked in the darkness, looking around parts of the city. The beautiful, and the pitiful.
New York is a beautiful place. Times Square, Central Park, The Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge. All places that glamorise the New York character. All places that one sees in tourism adverts. The parts you don't see, like the Bronx, Washington Heights, and Hell's Kitchen, these are the areas that hold normal humans working for survival.
It always astonished me how humans living so close to one another can have such different lives. Social status is a human habit that has forever plagued their existence. Ones of higher social status (usually coinciding with ones of more wealth) are always at the top, while the poor are left to fend for themselves.
Social elitism and discrimination has landed most to the brink of desperation, and desperation can lead good people towards the dark path. The poor of New York city, and everywhere else for that matter, can often be driven to the life of crime from the sheer pressure of such things.
"Yo, yo, yo! Who do we got over here!?"
"This fancy looking dude is walking through our neighbourhood, we're so honoured! Aren't we fellas?"
A collective "Hell yeah!" sounded from the dozen or so men standing behind him.
"This guy over here doesn't know the rules of this neighbourhood. You gotta pay to pass through, everybody knows that"
Being in a group among his fellow gangsters gives him a strong sense of safety and confidence. You can see this in any human population no matter the size, they all gather a group for the feeling of safety, be it a tribe, a military army, or a simple gang.
Little does this man knows, his gang won't help him here.
"Because I'm in a good mood, amma let you pass this time, and all I ask for in return is that shiny little watch that's on your wrist. Good deal don't you think?"
"I think it is boss" a man stepped beside the leader. Evidently the second in command. Groups such as this usually follow simple hierarchy.
"I know right? So I guess if this man is smart he'll accept the deal. Won't you?" the last question was directed at me, accompanied by him lifting his shirt slightly in an attempt to intimidate with the concealed gun.
The leader suddenly changed his expression. He now wore a frightful and shocked expression. I can understand why.
I guess seeing my body, the man he attempted to rob, slightly haze in place and my trench coat thrashing to the side for no apparent reason fazed his confidence a little bit.
When he looked behind him he saw all fourteen members of his gang laying in the floor unconscious. I tried not to kill any of them but my speed isn't a power that's easy to handle. I reckon I left some paralysed.
The leader stood there. Helpless without his posse.
I lifted his hand, put my wrist watch on it, and left.
I have no need for material things, especially something to keep the time, time is irrelevant to an immortal. The watch was for show anyway and I can easily purchase another.
Tomorrow I'll be meeting Frank Santoro and I'll be a step closer to my goal. Very soon, the world will be introduced to my villainous persona: The Black Wing