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Previously: City On Fire, Part 3: Getting the Scoop
CITY ON FIRE
The Man Behind the Curtain
Inside a dark room, a man sat in the shadows, behind a desk. In front of him, five well dressed men stood in a row; standing at attention. Each one wore a black rose tucked into their lapels.
Coolly, the shadowed man asked, “Is everything moving accordingly?”
The man on the far right stepped forward and said, “Yes, sir. If everything continues as planned, we should be able to move within a couple of months.”
“Good to hear, gentlemen. Soon, you'll find yourselves rich and wealthy men. That'll be all for today.”
“*Ahm!*” the man in the middle coughed. “Uh, sir... there may be a small problem.”
A disconcerting pause filled the room, as sweat began to bead on their foreheads.
“Well... you see... there's someone we didn't account for getting involved. He made a move on one of the Butcher's hideouts and took out four men on his own.”
“I've already made preparations for any rooftop heroes coming into play. You needn't worry yourself.”
“But no one knows who this guy is. Our sources in the NYPD got a description from the survivor of the hit and he spouted of something about the guy having red eyes and bulletproof skin.”
Another, brief, unsettling pause. “If you men don't mind, I'd like some privacy.”
After the men left, a gloved hand stretched from the shadows and pressed a button on the desk. Shortly after, another door opened and a tall man entered the room. His skin was the color of Ivory and his short flat-top hair was just as white. He wore a bright-white suit; also adorned with a black rose.
“Mr. Lincoln,” the voice greeted him. “I'm afraid we have a most interesting predicament.”
“Hey, ya didn't hire me cause I look so pretty. Just point me at the problem and I'll take care of it.”
“This problem may not be as easy to handle as you think.”
“Just tell me what it is and it's as good as done.”
“Very well. I need you to take care of an old acquaintance of yours. Jon MacDagget.”
A smirk came to his face, as he asked, “Jonny-boy? Thought he'd be dead by now. What's he up to these days?”
“It would appear Mr. MacDagget has taken some sort of interest with my war. I would like you to pay him a visit and... dissuade him from continuing his meddling.”
A shark-tooth grin stretched his lips. “Sounds like fun. I love reunions. Don't you, Joey?”
The shadowed man leaned forward into a glimmer of light; revealing a man with dark brown hair. “Know your place, Mr. Lincoln. Around here, you call me Mr. Manfredi.”
“What's wrong? Can't take a joke?”
“No jokes, Lonnie,” he spoke with a calm manner. “My father built himself a formidable empire, before it came crashing down around him, in his foolish quest for immortality. I plan to rebuild that empire and part of that rebuilding is having my subordinates show me respect. Are we clear?”
“Yeah, whatever you say... Mr. Manfredi.” Cocky little Sh**, for being a c-list black-cape, while his old man was runnin' this city.
“Very good. Now, take care of Mr. MacDagget; before he learns something he isn't supposed to.”
“Whatever you say,” he skulked away, staring daggers at his employer, before exiting.
Joseph Manfredi sank back into the shadows and remembered his fathers words of wisdom: No loose ends, Joey. All it takes is one loose end to make all your best laid plans go to hell, in the blink of an eye.
“Sure thing, Dad,” he whispered aloud. “Sure thing.”
NEXT TIME: City on Fire, Part 5: A Crack In the Stone