Tremont, New York City
Sometime around midnight
Sometime around midnight
Benjamin D. Bradway sat calmly in the front seat of his Cherokee Jeep, his arms folded across his chest in a loose knot. You’ve done this sort of thing a thousand times before, he told himself. Tonight has no reason to be any different.
But tonight was different.
Tonight, he wasn’t fucking with a lowlife pedophile or a bunch of insignificant drug dealers. Tonight, he was fucking with the Chechen Mafia.
It's all just mind games, he reassured himself. They big themselves up with these stories and urban legends, but when the shit hits the fan, they’re no different than any other piece of shit gangbangers.
Nevertheless, there was this one story Benjamin just couldn’t shake from his head. Supposedly, back in the Old Country, the Chechens had once made a kid prove he was tough shit by scooping some woman off the street in the dead of night, and dragging her back to a dark little basement. They’d made him slit her throat then violate her corpse. When the lights turned on, and the kid was standing over the body of his younger sister, he went mad, and the Chechens strung him up from a lamppost.
Benjamin gazed out of his car with hawk-like precision, looking over the office building for the hundredth time in the last five minutes. The building itself was a fat little cube of dusty brown brick and dark tinted windows, with a smattering of unkempt greenery springing up in the dried flowerbeds out front. All in all, just an inconspicuous little decrepit office building amongst plenty other decrepit buildings in the neighborhood. That is, if you didn't count the fact that this was the workplace of one of the Chechen mob’s top associate. With that thought in mind, Benjamin sat and waited, watching the office lights ever-so-slowly flicker out.
Once enough time had passed, and there was only one light left glowing dimly from behind a window, Benjamin steadily made his way out of the Cherokee, locking it behind him, and cautiously strode up to the building. He wasn't wearing his mask or hoodie, but was clad in a just a regular shirt and a pair of jeans. There were no cameras in this part of town, and anyone who witnessed him wouldn't bother going to the cops. In short, it was the perfect place for him to work his magic.
Slipping through the big steely doors outfront, Benjamin found the interior of the building to be fairly unremarkable; with squat little cubicles and the sort of cheap-looking furnishings you’d expect from an old 80s office building.
“Don’t worry, babe. I promise I’ll take the smart route home.” A scratchy voice echoed from down the corridor.
That was James Boyd using his phone to call his wife. One of the mob’s leading associate, he was the one person who kept their dealings smooth and was their biggest local connection. Years of undisputed hegemony over the neighborhood has eroded the mob’s sense of security however, as evident by the lack of guards or cameras throughout the whole place. Bit of a dumb move on their part.
Now, having done some reconnaissance, Benjamin was already familiar with his target. It was a Thursday, so John Boyd worked late, before heading over to the motel down the street to fuck Shelia Garret.
“I promise,” Boyd said again “Yeah, and I’m sorry about what I said about you dad, babe. You know I don’t like the way he talks to you. O-Okay, honey. You know I gotta work late, tonight; there’s nothing I can do about that. Yeah, I’m getting paid for the overtime. Okay, babe. I love you, too. Speak soon.”
Once he was certain Boyd had hung up, and there were no other stragglers hanging about the office, Benjamin made his way down the corridor, and into Boyd’s office. The balding middle-aged man had been scribbling away at his desk, and when Benjamin appeared in the doorway he nearly jumped out of his skin.
“Jesus, -FUCKING-, Christ!” Boyd yelped “You scared the shit out of me.”
Once his heart was beating a bit slower, Boyd gave Benjamin a quick look up and down. Benjamin looked like one of the newer interns, but it was hard to tell under the dim light.
“Listen.” He said slowly “If you’ve here to tidy up the office, you can do it tomorrow. For now, just go home.”
“How long have you been helping the Chechens smuggle little girls out of the country?” Benjamin asked calmly, locking eyes with the man behind the desk as he stepped inside the office.
Boyd went red in the face.
“What in the goddamned…” He spluttered “I’m going to need you to-”
Benjamin’s hand slipped into his jacket pocket, and when it reemerged he was aiming his revolver squarely at Boyd.
“Woah… hold on now, mister.” Boyd stammered, as his face dropped. “There’s no need to bring guns into this.”
“There’s one thing stopping me from pulling this trigger.” Benjamin spoke slowly, making sure he was easy to understand. “And that’s the fact that you’re more use to me alive than dead, right now.”
“By everything holy, I don’t wanna get dragged into whatever bullshit this is!” He yelped.
“Too late. You should’ve thought of that before you started taking cash from the mob.” Benjamin said sharply. “I know they've stopped their smuggling out of the country in favor of setting up shop here. So now, you’re going to hand me any files you have about these new little business ventures of theirs. Addresses, security, schedule, everything.”
Boyd’s mouth fell open.
“Do you have any idea what they will do to me, if-”
Benjamin cocked back the hammer on his revolver.
“You need to make a decision,” Benjamin snarled. “Are you more scared of the men you work for, or the man pointing a gun in your face, who also knows your home address, and the home address of the secretary you’re fucking on the side?”
“You’re fucking crazy,” Boyd lowered his head in defeat. “You are absolutely fucking crazy.”
“Maybe I am, but at least I can sleep soundly at night knowing I didn't help sell girls off to slavery.” The contempt in Benjamin’s voice grew ever clearer as he went on, the barrel of his revolver staring down Boyd. “The files. Now.”
Sure enough, a gun pointed at your head does wonders to your motivation. Within minutes, Boyd had already laid out several documents detailing the location and inner workings of several of the mob’s local whorehouses and private nightclubs. They were not exactly the goldmine of information that'd allow Benjamin complete knowledge of everything and anything, but they were definitely going to significantly help his investigation.
“There, that's all of them.” Boyd stated, breathing heavily. “Are you happy?”
“Not really, no.”
“What the hell else do you want? That's everything!"
"What do I want? This."
“Aaaand now I'm happy.”
Making sure to grab all of the files off of the desk, Benjamin made his way outside of the office and back out into the streets. A quick sweep of the surroundings reassured him that no one had seen or heard him, or they simply didn't bother. Benjamin knew the mob will find the body long before the cops would even catch a whiff of it, and he was glad that the first part of his plan was going smoothly.
The first shot had been fired, but the war has just begun. With the files in hand, all that's left to do is to study the new intel and wait for the right time before carrying out his next move. Fun.
With a low hum, his Cherokee drove off into the night.