Genesis: Scarlet Spider: Rise Above

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Re: Genesis: Scarlet Spider: Rise Above

Post by Mir »

“Gentlemen, I am glad you have come. Truly, I am. Hopefully, we can put this violence behind us and return to having profitable days ahead of us.” Black Tarantula said. He leaned back in the armchair he sat in, smoke from the cigar curling upwards. “You know as well as I do, that the operation I’ve brought to Chicago maybe smaller in size than some of the other organizations, but our strength rivals any of the entities that jostle for position in this great city.” He said, looking at the ash that was starting to build on the end of the cigar. “It would benefit everyone if we could find a way to peacefully co-exist, don’t you think?” His eyes finally flitted up to the men he was speaking to.

Across the small marble top coffee table sat three men. They were dressed similarly to he, and he was grateful that he was finally going to be able to speak to people who looked like true businessmen. Perhaps they would be able to reach some kind of agreement. Behind them, towards the back of the room, were a few of their lieutenants.

“What would be your terms?” One of the leaders of the Latin Disciples asked.

Black Tarantula rose and looked out at the view. They were in a high rise building facing due east, so he could see Millennium and Grant Park and beyond that the blue waters of Lake Michigan. “My terms are simple. My men will be able to do their work without interference from you.” He said. “In exchange, I offer you my word that I will not eradicate you from the face of the earth.”

As he spoke, his phone vibrated in his pocket, and he reached into his suit jacket to pull it out. Looking at the message he’d received, Black Tarantula nodded to himself. “Gentlemen, you can see that from the beginning I negotiated with your organization in good faith. I did not wear the mask of my office and I do not wear it now. You know my face, you know my name. I used neither harsh words, nor harsh actions until I was provoked. It is not my honor or integrity called into question. Your men,” He said, turning to look at the three of them, “your men have the backbone of dogs and it showed that day. It showed later when they thought to assault me. But I’m willing to look past that.”

“What parts of the city do you want to operate in?” Another leader asked. “We can’t just give you certain parts. We have other agreements in place. The Italians, the Polish, they’re interested in what happens here today too. You can’t think just because you’re the new guy in town you can dictate to us and get what you want.” He added, scoffing. “So what neighborhoods do you want?”

“This isn’t a discussion about Logan Square or the Back of the Yards or Boy’s town or any one neighborhood. You will let me do my work without interference, wherever that might be. I’m not saying you can’t compete. I’m saying you won’t forcibly restrict my organization’s movements.” Black Tarantula replied, still looking out the window.

“This is the same offer I heard you gave the guys before.”

He turned and smiled, looking over his shoulder. “It is.” He replied with a nod of his head.

“If we weren’t willing to accept it then, why would we be willing to accept it now?” The man asked.

The Black Tarantula paused, lifting up his free hand and sticking a gloved finger in the air. He moved in a slow, lazy circle as he spoke, his eyes closed as he squinted, a disbelieving look on his face. “If I am to understand you gentlemen correctly, you are not going to work with me and find an agreement we all can live with?” He asked.

“You can’t kill all of us. We have hundreds of members in Chicago.” The third man said.

With a shake of his head, Black Tarantula chuckled, running a hand through his long locks of hair, before reaching into his suit pocket, the grin on his face slowly morphing into one that might have been more suited for a predator than a man. “You know, I thought, I had a feeling this was going to journey down the same path as before.” He unlocked the phone and showed the three men the message he’d received, as he also tossed the remains of the cigar into the ashtray that was on the marble table.

They saw the pictures.

“You misunderstood me before, but with the way my words were weaved together, I can see how that could be the case. I was not saying I would eradicate the Latin Disciples from the face of the earth.” Black Tarantula said, tossing them the phone before beginning to walk around the room slowly. “No, I meant you. You three, you are the head leaders of the Latin Disciples. Without you, there is no leadership. To wipe you off the face of the earth…” He said, trailing off as he reached a side table. There was the ornate box. “Of course, that means you, your spouses, your progeny, and so on and so forth.” He opened the box and pulled out one of the Star Model 1931 pistols. The military issue pistol swung around, in his hand, already loaded. Black Tarantula started pulling the trigger.

He didn’t need to wear his mask. His face was etched in granite almost, unmoving.

Turning to the lieutenants, he gave them a genial smile. “Without leadership, you have no direction. I’ll give you a similar offer to what I gave your former masters. Work for me. Swear your loyalty to me. Serve the Black Tarantula.”
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Re: Genesis: Scarlet Spider: Rise Above

Post by Mir »

“You guys better behave yourselves, or I’m going to be super pissed off with you.” Temperance said, raising her voice.

The sounds of the children running and screaming with laughter told her that her wishes were not going to be obeyed. There was a part of her that wasn’t that upset about it though. It had taken some time, months really, but Joshua was finally starting to get back to his old self. Without all the carjacking, street racing, and other problems he’d caused. She was so happy to be getting her brother back. He’d wanted this party, this summer celebration. Going along with it was the least she could do for him. After all, since he had come back, he had thrown himself into helping her and helping the kids with everything they could ask for. He’d found a job and had gone back to school. Sure, the job thing had kind of burned down, quite literally, but he was a full time student and he was going to finally get his degree soon, something their mother had always wanted for both of her children. He was starting to turn his life around.

So putting up with a lot of the neighborhood kids over at the house, all armed with super soakers and causing a ruckus, well that was a headache that Temp was okay with dealing with. Though Temperance was a bit annoyed that it was Joshua who had bought her two daughters, his nieces, the Super AquaBlaster 8000s they had been asking for. Apparently these things were a big deal. A part of her could always understand that aspect of childhood. There had been plenty of things she and Joshua had wanted growing up that her parents couldn’t afford. After all, that was the problems that came with being the kids of a con man and car thief. But still, the super soakers had been a bit much. Then again, now Maggie and Patty had the best ones on the block.

She grabbed the big bowl of coleslaw she’d been working on preparing and stepped outside. Running around her half acre backyard were a lot of the neighborhood kids. Setting the bowl on the big fold out table they had set up, Temperance walked over to where her brother was, standing in front of the grill. A lot of the parents of the juvenile delinquents currently terrorizing the populace were at various points of the backyard.

Everyone was in conversation and everyone was having a good time.

“How’s it going?” She asked her brother and Joshua gave her an easy smile as he reached for his bottle of beer. “That good, huh?”

“Well, I got a call back from one of the places I interviewed at.” He said. “I might be getting that internship at the business consulting company.” Joshua said. When Temperance’s face lit up, he gave her a look. “They haven’t run the background checks yet.” He said.

“Still. This is good news.” She said. “You’re not going to ruin this for me, Joshua Caleb.” Temp added.

“Trust me, I’m not trying to.” He replied. He watched as his sister walked away to go talk to one of the neighbors. It was a big thing that he could possibly get this job. He already had a decent number of credits from before he had gone to prison, and strangely, a lot of them had transferred in to the University of Chicago. Probably something the Old Man had done for him, yet another thing. Joshua looked over and Maggie and Patricia, his two little nieces. They were having the time of their lives, running around trying to hit everyone with their super soakers. He closed the grill, handing the control over to one of the others who had come for the party.

Walking into the house, he went to grab another beer. He had gotten a few special ones that he wasn’t planning on sharing with anyone else, so he’d left them in Temp’s fridge. With the door to the refrigerator open, he started looking around for where she’d put them. Grabbing hold of one of the longnecks, he started hunting for the bottle opener when the doorbell rang. He found the bottle opener and popped the top, before walking towards the front door.

Joshua was still learning what it was that had happened to him since the arson at the Van Buren building. He wasn’t sure of everything he could do, but he had been practicing in that old abandoned warehouse he was on the fence about buying. Suffice to say, he was not a normal person anymore. One of the perks was that he could tell when and where people were coming from at almost all times. It definitely helped him weave through the pedestrian traffic when he was walking in downtown Chicago, and it was paying dividends maneuvering through all the kids today. However what was weird was that there was this overriding sense of urgency whenever something or someone was coming close enough to him to cause harm.

This would have been useful and funny except that he still acted on his reflexes sometimes. There was a car that had gotten to close to the curb where had been standing waiting for the signal to change. This had set off this warning danger sense and his reflexes had caused him to backflip over twenty feet in the air. It was a weird sight for everyone else. Thankfully, he hadn’t gotten high enough or far enough to touch a building. Joshua had these little hitches or hooks on his hands now, helping him grip things. He still wasn’t sure what was going on, but he wasn’t sure who to talk to about the problem.

He opened the door to see who it was and there was a mild look of shock that rolled over his face.

“You…You came.” He said.

“Not sure why myself.” Angela Mancini replied coolly, from behind her aviator sunglasses. Her hair was down and framed her face.

She was dressed for the weather in Chicago, which was getting considerably warmer as they entered the summer months. She wore khaki colored jeans, and a white, loose, silky looking blouse. She had a matching khaki light jacket on as well. Not exactly cookout clothing, but then again, he was finding himself hard pressed to remember the normal lawyer looking attire she was always wearing.

“I’m here though. I appreciate the invitation.” She said.

He still stood there, staring.

She sighed, taking off the aviators. “When you sent me this invitation, was it just to get me here so you could close a door in my face.”

“No.” He said, slowly, drawing out every single bit of the syllable as he could.

“Well then, car thief, are you going to let me in?”

“Sure thing, counselor.” He said, finding the old Joshua Perry charm once more.

He found it, just as his warning danger sense went off. There were two small children behind him packing serious firepower with them. Joshua could hear the giggles, he could hear the charging of the Super AquaBlaster 8000s. He could hear the two massive sprays of water coming straight for his back.

His reflexes kicked in, and he….stepped out of the way.

One of the things he remembered was how much of a fuss Temperance had made at the cost of the super soakers. But now, as he saw the look of shock and horror on the face of Angela Mancini, former State’s Attorney for Cook County, Illinois, now junior partner at Mayer, Ingram, and Rogers, one of the largest and most powerful law firms in the country, and most importantly, the woman who had singlehandedly won the case against him, the largest auto theft case in Cook County history, putting him away for five years of his life….

The Super AquaBlaster 8000s had been worth every single penny.
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Re: Genesis: Scarlet Spider: Rise Above

Post by Mir »

Angela froze in horror as she was drenched in water from the super soakers. She reached a shaky hand up and removed the sunglasses, her eyes staring down at her chest which was now soaked with water. Her free hand, also shaky, went up, moving through her hair, which was now partially wet. Her mouth was open from the shock. Finally, her eyes moved up to Joshua, who was struggling not to laugh. He reached a hand back, shooing the two children away.

“I’m really sorry about that.” Joshua said. “I’m…really sorry.”

“You look sorry.” She said, cooly. “Well, I guess this solves the problem of whether you’re going to actually invite me in.”

“I mean, I did ask you to come to the party, so it would be weird not to invite you inside at all. Did you really think the invitation was a joke?” He asked and she shrugged. “Well, I guess that kind of makes sense.” He said. “Why don’t we get you inside and get you some dry clothes?” Joshua asked. He started walking and gestured she should follow.

“So this is where you grew up?” Angela asked and Joshua nodded. “When I got the invite, I remembered the address from the court case. I didn’t think you and your sister would have kept the place.”

Joshua nodded. “Family is important to us. I know we come from…from a fucked up family. But that family means a lot to Temp and I.” He said, moving through the hallways. He ended up in Patty’s bedroom. Opening one of the closets, he poked around until he found a box. “I left a few of my things here when I moved out.” He said.

He had a good feeling Temperance would lose her mind on him if she saw Angela wearing her clothes, he was pretty sure. He also knew nothing of women’s sizes and clothes. Opening the box, he rooted around in the box, until he found an old t-shirt of his. He tossed it to her.

“REO Speedwagon, really?” She asked.

“I didn’t mention them during my depositions?” Joshua asked with a smirk. “They’re from Chicago, well, Champaign. Great band.” He said, as she shucked her jacket. When she looked at him pointedly, he turned back around, as she slid out of her top and pulled on his jacket. He turned back around as she laid the top on the back of a chair. “So, let’s get to the party huh?”

“Sure thing.”

“Joshua, is that you? Where have you been? I need your help with the-“ Temperance said coming around the corner. She stopped in the doorway to the room, her eyes wide as she stared at Angela.

“You didn’t tell her I was coming, did you.” Angela said, more of a statement than a question.

“Nope.” Joshua said, shaking his head.

“What…the fuck is she doing in my house?” Temperance asked.
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Re: Genesis: Scarlet Spider: Rise Above

Post by Mir »

“So I can understand why this might be a little upsetting.” Joshua said.

“A little?” Temperance asked, her eyes going wide. She pointed at Angela. “This bitch tore my family apart, and you’ve invited her over for barbecue.” Temperance replied.

Joshua winced slightly. This was not how he had wanted this whole thing to go. Though, all scenarios considered, it could easily have gone worse and he wouldn’t have been surprised. He made a mental note to commend his sister on her response. Well, her response thus far. Things could always change with Temp. Her name wasn’t her name for nothing.

“That might be a little strong, considering she is standing right here.” Joshua replied.

Angela shrugged. “I’ve been called worse.”

“Well, that’s interesting and-“

“I bet you have.” Temperance said, the look on her face still one belonging to a woman who was still quite pissed. “I just bet you have.”

“I invited her because the past is the past.” Joshua said. “We’ve all made changes in our lives, we’ve all had to, for a number of reasons, caused by two of the people in the room and-“

“Well, more caused by you than by me.” Angela replied, and he turned and gave her a look. “Oh, right, that’s probably not helping.” She added, and he shook his head. “Look, I’m sorry about all of this. I didn’t know exactly what was going on when I got the invitation. I figured it was kind of weird, considering the past history I have with your family, and the whole investigation currently going on. It’s a bit out of character, and I’m honestly still not sure why I decided to come to this.”

“What investigation?” Temperance asked, now confused. “What are you talking about?” She asked, looking at Joshua. It was evident from the look on her face, a mixture of confusion and anger that she was looking for answers and she wanted them rather quickly.

Joshua closed his eyes. On the bright side, it looked like Temperance was going to transfer more of her anger towards him. “There’s an investigation going on into what happened at the Van Buren building.” He said. “As it so happens, Angela represents the insurance company and is working on the investigation.”

“I told you that you needed a lawyer.”

Angela shook her head as Temperance looked back at the lawyer. “Actually, while there is an investigation into Joshua’s whereabouts that night, we’re not really looking that heavily at him. There’s evidence, but nowhere near enough to say that he did anything. The police investigation has gotten pretty much nowhere. They’re ruling it more of an industrial accident than anything involving foul play.”

“See?” Joshua said with a smile. “Now we can all be happy.”

His sister turned her withering gaze back onto him. “If I didn’t have a bunch of screaming kids out there, this is a conversation we would be having now. But, you’re in luck. So we’ll have it later.” She said, and walked out of the room. “She doesn’t get any ice cream.” Temperance said, her voice getting faint.

“She doesn’t really mean that.”

“I’m so glad.”
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Re: Genesis: Scarlet Spider: Rise Above

Post by Mir »

Angela adjusted the waist band of her jeans. Whether it had been luck or not, the silk blouse had taken most of the water. That was probably going to need some professional care. She ran her fingers through her slightly damp hair, looking at some of the photos on top of a dresser, photos of the family. Different members, from different periods of time, but everyone was smiling and everyone looked happy. They looked happy. Whether they had been happy or not, that was a different story altogether, one Angela couldn’t tell. One of the things that had amazed her during the depositions and Joshua's trial was how at peace Joshua and Temperance were with their family's past. They were focusing on the good and learning from the bad, it seemed. It was a foreign concept for Angela, knowing what she knew of the criminal element and those connected to it.

There was a knock on the door and then it opened slightly, as Joshua poked his head around. "You decent?" He asked and she nodded. "Alright, let's get some food in you. Once you taste my ribs and Temp's coleslaw, you'll forget all about whatever that dry cleaning bill for that shirt." He said.

"You taste the coleslaw first to make sure she hasn't poisoned me."

"You're just jaded."

"She literally called me a bitch."

" true." Joshua considered. "We can always use one of the kids running around this place to taste it. They're expendable." He added as two of the kids in question ran past the two of them.

They stepped out of the house and into the back yard. James Perry had purchased one of the larger houses in the neighborhood and it came with a decent sized backyard. There were people from all over the neighborhood in the backyard, which was one of the reasons why James had bought it in the first place.

Angela shook her head. "I must be really rusty on the court case. I don't remember the backyard being this big from the description."

Joshua smiled as he walked her over to a cooler. Opening it, he grabbed himself a beer and then another when Angela indicated she wanted one too. "He may have been a man who boosted cars, but he was also a guy who loved a sense of community. Pretty weird if you ask me." Joshua said, popping the tops off the bottles and handing one to Angela. "Yeah. I'd say weird."

"Does that apply to you?" She asked, sipping from the beer, but keeping her eyes on Joshua.

He raised an eyebrow. "What does that mean?" He asked.

"You invited me over here." She said. "I hate the term 'put in jail'. I didn't put anyone in jail. They put themselves there with their choices. But to use it, with the number of people I've put in jail, and for the amount of time I've put them in there, I would think I've earned a fair share of lifelong enemies. You're the first person in that list who ever invited me over for a summer barbecue."

He shrugged, lifting his bottle of beer up to take a sip. "I can invite you back to shovel the driveway during winter, if it'll make you feel better." He replied. "Look, I got the phone call from a detective who works down at the precinct. Elijah Schiffman, good guy. He told me the investigation was steering away from me. It may seem like a dumb idea to invite you here, but I don't hate you, Angela. You're not a lifelong enemy or whatever you called it." He said.

"Then what am I?" She asked. She turned to look over at one of the picnic tables that had been hauled in and set up. Temperance was there with a few other people and every so often, she looked over at the two of them, watching them talk. "Because I'd bet all the money I've got your sister thinks I'm a lifelong enemy."

He walked over with her to the grill and opened it to check that everything was winding down on the cooking side. He flipped what needed to be flipped and then closed it again. "You're part of the puzzle." He said, grabbing a plate and handing it to her. "Look, I don't blame you for what happened to me. You're right. I made the choices that landed me in jail. You didn't give me the tool kit and tell me to boost cars. But I can't show people I've changed unless..I show people I've changed y'know? So I invited you here because you were one of the people who saw me at my lowest." Angela had been in the process of serving herself food as Joshua had been speaking. She had stopped. "What is it?"

"You might not like my response." The lawyer replied. When he gestured for her to continue, Angela sighed. "Look, I've seen the system. Maybe I am jaded to it a bit. That's one of the reasons why I got out. If I was going to kill myself with long hours, I might as well get paid for it, instead of seeing repeat offenders, and feeling as though I’m not doing anything. I prosecuted a guy five times. Different crimes, but still, five times?” She asked, her eyes conveying the disbelief as she held up five fingers. “What, you don’t learn not to rob people or to hold up a convenience store? Is that so hard? He was a career criminal and he’s dead now. He got shanked in prison over something stupid."

“Doesn’t mean people can’t change.” Joshua said, a little softly.

“No, it doesn’t. It just means that it’s hard. It’s very hard. It’s damned difficult. I know that from what I’ve seen. When the chips are down, it’s easier to fall back into the old life than it is to make the right choice, the choice that people who rely on you are counting on you to make. You’ve done well, Joshua, I won’t deny that from you. You’re back in school, at a great school, if I do say so,” Angela quipped with a wry smile. “You were holding down a job, and you were helping your sister. But you’ve been out of jail maybe a year and a half?” She asked.

“Just over it.” He stated, knowing where she was going.

“What are you going to do now?” She asked. “The Van Buren fire was about a month ago now. What job prospects do you have? You live in an apartment building not too far from here. You have to make rent. You have to eat. How are you going to accomplish those goals without money? ‘I’ll figure it out’, that’s what you were going to say.” Angela said, the smile changing to a sarcastic one, cutting Joshua off as he was opening his mouth to speak. “Yeah,” She scoffed, “I’ve heard that before.”

He couldn't tell her about the Old Man, about what reading the Count of Monte Cristo and Edmond Dantes had done, and the changes that he'd made. The Old Man would never allow that betrayal of trust. He could see what she was saying though. She had a point. It was difficult to make that change, difficult even more to stick with it. She'd seen what she had seen and that informed her world view. He'd seen what he'd seen and it informed his. "Proving it will take time. But this is what I want and it's what I'm going to do."

"Good." Angela said, with a smile, a real smile. "I really hope the best for you, Joshua. I know I may seem like a...I don't know, a stuck up bitch, but I cared about all the people hurt by the actions of the defendants in my cases. Many of them experienced traumatic pain and people shouldn't have to go through that. Until people stop hurting other people, there's always a need for the job I did in the Prosecutor's office. Career criminals, they don't change. They can't rise above. But maybe you can. Maybe you're the one who's going to prove me wrong on that. I really dislike blanket statements, so I'm kinda rooting for you."

"I think when you got hit with the super soaker, you the Wicked Witch of the West melted and you became a real girl, Mancini." He said.

She laughed. "Shut your mouth, Perry. Let's go find your sister so she can get it all out of her system."
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Re: Genesis: Scarlet Spider: Rise Above

Post by Mir »

Things were progressing smoothly. There had been some roadblocks, some obstacles, but nothing that couldn’t be overcome. A few more people had had to die, which had to be expected, all things considered. But the objective had been accomplished. The Latin Disciples were no more. They all worked for the Black Tarantula now. As a result, he controlled a large portion of the organized crime that took place in Chicago. However, there were others, other groups that he needed to take care of if his ultimate goal was to be accomplished. There was a reason for being that he had, and that purpose had to be accomplished.

Black Tarantula sat now, in a meeting. It was not a meeting he had called, but one that he had felt compelled to attend. He sat in a meeting of a few Chicago aldermen and members of their constituency. They were all discussing some of the wide range of problems that besotted the city. The list was quite extensive apparently.

One of the many things they were concerned about was the crime rate, particularly in the south side of Chicago. These were things that he could appreciate. The city was trying to grow, but there had been long periods of outmigration.

Taxes were incredibly high in the city and dealing with all of that was a balancing act for the aldermen. They had to convince the people to turn over their hard earned money, and in exchange hopefully receive good services provided by the city. That second part of the equation that was something that was proving to be troublesome.

He was seated in the back of the hall, wearing a light grey suit. Reaching up, he brushed away at a few almost invisible specs of dust from his light blue shirt. He had a folded copy of the Chicago Tribune in his lap, and he was reading over some of the headlines, half paying attention to the proceedings. They’d be over soon. The real reason he was here was not to listen to some city councilmen and councilwomen go on and on about what they were doing to take care of people.

No, he had far more interesting things to discuss.

He looked up, briefly, as he was joined by another.

“Sir, there is a phone call for you.”

“Who is it?” He asked.

“They would not give their name, but they told you that the supplies have been released for your use.” The man said and Edgar nodded in response.

He waved a hand, indicating he was not interested in conversing further. Soon after, he was alone again. That was an important phone call, one he had been waiting on for some time. The Black Tarantula had a plan in place, to turn his organization in to a far more legitimate operation. Well, as legitimate as it could be, having absorbed the Latin Disciples. Then again, it probably wasn’t as difficult as it would appear. All it would take would be cooperation on behalf of a few aldermen and alderwomen and the situation would soon be rectified.

He looked up.

The meeting was over.

It was time for the real meeting to begin.
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Re: Genesis: Scarlet Spider: Rise Above

Post by Mir »

“Mr. Ramirez, it’s a pleasure to see you.”

“Alderman Brown.” Edgar replied, putting the folded copy of the Tribune under his arm and shaking the man’s hand and giving him an easy smile. He shook the hand of the Alderwoman next to him. “Alderwoman Price.”

“You were asking about a development in a property.” Price said as the door behind them closed.

They were alone in a meeting room. All of the aides had left and there were only three of them there. That was how Edgar wanted it. No prying eyes, no one able to recall events in a manner other than the way they transpired.

“Yes.” He said. “You’re the Alderwoman of Ward 3 and Alderman Brown is the Alderman of Ward 25. The parcel of land I’m interested in is in Ward 25, but it would undoubtedly affect your ward, so I figured it was best to speak to you both.”

“The 62-acre lot southwest of Clark street.” Brown said, nodding. “We’ve received a lot of interest in the property, to say the least.”

Edgar smiled and nodded himself, tossing the paper onto a table. “Oh, I can imagine. I’m interested in it, and I wish to develop it.” He said. “Alas, I’ve only been in Chicago for a short period of time, and so I do not think I filled out all the paperwork in the right manner and filed it during the window to submit bids.” He said and his smile turned a bit sheepish. “But I don’t think that should ruin a good opportunity for both myself and the city of Chicago.”

Price looked over at Brown and then back at Edgar. “Mr. Ramirez, I’m afraid that there isn’t much that we can do about that.” She said. “The window is quite clear and it’s like that for a reason. We can’t have companies or interested parties coming in late to the game and submitting proposals well after the window has closed. I’m sure you can understand that.” She said.

He held his hands up, in mock surrender, looking down at the ground. “No, no, I completely understand. It’s true, I missed the opportunity. However, this is something near and dear to my heart. I know there has to be a way to solve this issue.” He said. “You see, I only moved to Chicago recently because I was solidifying my holdings and operations elsewhere but coming to this great city is something I’ve always wanted to do.”

“What work is that, precisely?” Alderman Brown asked, his eyes narrowing. “You don’t have any companies that we know of.”

“My father’s work.” Edgar said. “It’s all a bit complicated, but you see, I have quite a bit of resources behind me. I want to use those resources to help the city of Chicago. We can be so much more if we would find a way to focus less on the violence and more on growth. We could help so many people. Our homeless shelters wouldn’t be overflowing and we wouldn’t have people living under Wacker drive that the city has to force out under the guise of cleaning. A bill I believe both of you were in favor of.”

Both of their faces shifted to looks of discomfort.

“I see you have a taste for the unpleasant. I don’t hold it against you. We have to make our way in the world, sometimes however that presents itself. It’s not always as nice as we’d want. I can respect that. That’s why I can share with you a little secret.” He said and reached over onto the table.

He unfolded the Chicago Tribune and showed them what was hidden in the folds.

“Catch my drift?” He asked.
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