In a weird way, coming to Amber is like coming home again. When I
first left Chaos, I eventually found myself in a high-tech Shadow with
typical urban crime. Honest work didn't appeal to me, so I headed
downtown, hoping to find the criminal element.
I eventually hooked up with a more-or-less nameless group dealing
in all the usuals - stolen property, drugs, protection, etc. The Capo was
a decent guy, for a piece of shit lowlife hood. He didn't have a whole
lot of confidence, though. That was my in.
I did a little scut-work for them, stuff so they'd know I was OK
and let me hang out with them. Over a few months, I got to know the boss
pretty well. Eventually, I pitched it to him that he should make me his,
er, special assistant. Troubleshooter. Head Thug. Take your pick. He
didn't like it at first, but we talked.
"Capo," I said, "sometimes you want something done, but do not
want to dirty your hands. Sometimes you wish an opinion from someone you
trust. These others we work with - you cannot trust them, right? They
may want you out of the way. But me - they will not follow me anyway, no?
I am an outsider. I cannot threaten you. And my loyalty is assured by
the money you will pay me." He liked that - you talked honor and he
figured you were talking out your dick, but money was his native tongue.
So, two years later and he trusted me with everything. Fact was,
I ran the gang as long as I kissed his ass and kept him from noticing the
truth. A couple guys tried to get me to go along with their plays for the
big time, but they weren't ready for it. A younger kid wouldn't have put
up with me for long, and that wasn't my plan. So I'd talk them out of it,
or tell the Capo, or arrange accidents for them. Nothing too hard. The
Capo figured he was set for a long and profitable career.
In the end, the whole thing bored me to shit - when someone came
by with a job offer from home, I took the gang out and left without a
second thought. They were scum, anyway. Of course, so was I. Funny old
world, isn't it?
Now, in Amber, I don't think Archimedes or Random have a problem
with decisiveness. No sir. But I did notice that Archimedes took a
certain amount of lip off of Prince Ulysses, and that Random seemed to
agree to anything that let him go back to bed. I can work with this. I
just have to make them realize that my services are valuable - if not to
them directly, then valuable kept out of the greedy paws of others.
Besides, I liked the way Archimedes handled that Vertix. One
thing I've always admired about Amberites - per capita, they kill more
Chaosites than *anybody*.
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