The Graveyard

The Lair Of Gary James

NaNoWriMo: Ascension

Posted by BigWords on November 17, 2009

Charlie kneeled on the second level roadway watching the road below, aware of the time. Joan had said that the Kings were punctual, but the level of care they took was beyond anything he had expected. The long hov appeared at exactly midnight, just as it had the night before, and the night before that… Charlie recognized it immediately as the one from the drive-by shooting, deciding that he needed to do something to honor Lara.

“They have schedules to keep. You have no idea how much pressure they are under, darling. Back in the old days it was about surviving, but these days it’s closer to being a car salesman. The hired help have to take in a certain amount of money before they start earning anything. You would be very surprised at how little the street-level members actually make. Barely enough for nice clothes and good company.” Joan took another sip of her drink as she reached for her comm.
“The money flow isn’t what I’m interested in. I need to know about hierarchy.”
“The money flow is the hierarchy dear boy, and the sooner you understand how the Kings operate, the sooner you can find your way in.”
“I don’t want to join them, I want to rule them.”
“Ambitious, handsome and-” Joan eyes fell to Charlie’s crotch, “quite possibly very well hung.”
“Not that you’ll find out.”

Charlie hefted the block of concrete onto the guard rail with all his strength, timing his moment as well as he could. There was an elastic second when the block refused to move, but it slid from his hands quickly enough, and as it tumbled through the air Charlie exhaled. His aim and timing were perfect, hitting the front of the hov directly above its’ power cell, smashing the vehicle into the road. It tilted forwards, scraping the road beneath and showering the air with sparks as it hurtled onwards. A split second later the hov was tumbling roof over air-buffers, shedding pieces of metal, carbon fibre and plastic in a trail of debris. Charlie rushed to the stairway leading down to the roadway below, hoping that he would be able to get what he needed.

“So tell me about the enforcers. The ones I have met never lived long enough to learn anything from. They answer to the person in control of the city, right?”
“The enforcers answer to their commanders. One level up, and none of them worth the air they breathe. They take their cut of the money and pass the rest up the food chain. Now, here is where I should politely ask you to leave, but I feel like living dangerously today. A very attractive, metropolitan and distinguished gentleman named Wilson runs the east end of town with a rod of steel.” She sighed at her poetic description of his management style. “He is, sadly, too squeamish for anything more interesting than paperwork, but he has… Had some uses. He’s been entirely humorless recently, but he’s the go-to man if you want to do anything in that part of town.”

Staring at the trashed hov, Charlie saw the driver’s body through the smoke. Carefully avoiding the flames, Charlie dragged the corpse from its’ seated position onto the road. He tried to ignore the smell of burning flesh from the goons in the back seat as he cut away at the clothing of the driver, looking for the ID card and comm which would supply him the vital access to Wilson that he sought. Noticing the small bag of paper money in the footwell of the hov, he paused and made a grab for the bonus prize as well.

“Who does Wilson answer to?”
Joan thought for a moment. “There are many, many threads in the fabric of a crime empire, and not all of them are entirely vertical pathways. You have to remember that those who reside outside the borders of the city will very rarely make themselves known. They have, from what I gather, nothing to fear in the way of legal problems, though their underlings are less reliable.”
“The police always look the other way?”
“They look-” Joan flashed a leg, “Where their eyes lead them.”

As sirens flared in the distance Charlie had what he needed. The police would arrive shortly and believe that the scene of the crime was no more than a horrific act of vandalism. Then he spotted the severed head of a goon lying on the road. Smiling, he lifted up the head.

“When you speak to Wilson, as I’m sure you will, he should lead to you to the men you really want to talk to.” Joan paused. “I never spoke with you. You were never here.”
“I never spoke with you. I was never here. I never saw your freaky-ass parading around in suspenders.”

####

Two time-frames. Not sure if this works or not, but it seemed like a good idea at the time. I actually have a bit more, but I think ending the scene there has more of an impact than side-tracking off into a different topic.

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