James Waltman was a tall, skinny eighteen year old who was new in town from he wasn’t saying where. He put an ad in the newspaper classifieds offering ‘objects found’ and was making living expenses from that. He’d even been able to make some friends his own age, Steve and Joshua. Unfortunately his ads and success had attracted the attention of Thomas Warszawski, a very unpleasant man who wanted James to work for him, which was why Steve and Joshua were kneeling on the floor in front of James and Warszawski with guns pointed at their heads.
“It’s very simple, James,” Warszawski said, “you take my money and find what I want, or your friends die. If that doesn’t work, then I keep finding people to kill in front of you until you give in. Like that girl who lives down the hall from you, and her kid.”
James could tell that the man meant it and that his thugs would carry out his threat – one of them would even enjoy it. He considered his options and said, very quietly and reluctantly, “Okay, you win. Give me a few minutes.”
“I thought so.” Warszawski smirked. “And just like I thought, it’s some sort of super mojo, ain’t it? Pity you don’t have some sort of fighting schtick to go with it, kid, ‘cause without that, you’re just the very bottom of a very small heap.”
“You wanted half a dozen boys my age that no-one would miss, right?” James confirmed the mobster’s requirements and, when the man nodded, let his power go to work. After a few moments he pulled out a notepad and pen to write down an address. “There you are. Now, let us go.”
Warszawski took the paper and said, “Now, was that so hard? Just in case though, you three stay here until our birds are in the bag.” He smiled and went off to make a phone call.
Half a nervous hour later, the phone rang and Warszawski answered it, “So? All good and in the bag? Great, take them to the airport to be shipped out. Yeah, they should know better than to go out partying with cash and no id, shouldn’t they?” He put the phone down and walked back to where the three black kids were being held. “Mike. Tadeusz. These boys are free to go,” he paused then added, “until next time. Skedaddle boys, and don’t be strangers, heh?”
“Yes, Mr Warszawski,” answered James. “We won’t Mr Warszawski. Come on, guys, let’s go.” The other two needed no urging and they didn’t stop moving until they were out of the building and on the next block.
“Jim,” asked Steve, “what did you just do? Isn’t he going to ship those other kids to someplace nasty?”
“Some place very nasty,” agreed James, “which is why I made sure he’s picking up people who thoroughly deserve it. Now, step lively you two, we need to get home and pack.”
Joshua replied, “Pack, why?”
“Because at two in the morning, when Warszawski’s people aren’t watching us, we’re leaving town for LA and then we’re getting out of the country.”
“Man, why are we doing that? It’s the other side of the continent.” Steve was incredulous.
“Because we need out of Dodge and aside from each other, we’ve got no reason to stay here,” answered James.
“Well, yeah…” That was Joshua.
“Besides, I may have just started a gang war.” James was listening to his power as he had it look for solutions. “That address I gave Warszawski was where Danny Martello’s psychopathic second son was partying with his closest friends.”
“Chris Martello?” Joshua sounded shaken. “I went to the same high school. That guy is seriously dangerous.”
“Why do you think I gave him up and not someone else?” James stopped and looked both ways before crossing the street. “We definitely want to be out of town by nine tomorrow morning because that’s when Mr Martello is going to find out who grabbed his son.”
“Warszawski and Martello?” Steve sounded resigned. “There’s no way we can run far enough or fast enough.”
“Yes there is,” said the boy who would become The Broker. “Trust me.”