by Jack the Ripper
I always thought I knew how things worked in my city. Knew the right people, right places, right gangs... That was before I met Makeveli.
Makeveli Porter... The name brings up a lot of different emotions for people:
B. Friend or Ally
I knew him as D. All of the Above. Makeveli Porter was born in this city, The City of Demons. This dirty city made this man who he is today. His mother was a junkie, where the next fix was more important than her two sons. His father was executed before him and his brother by the corrupt cops of this town. At the age of 6, Makeveli's brother, Anastasio, took him away from the family; to join his new family, The Soldiers.
The Soldiers are the protectors of this city; an immense gang who use their power in order to protect those who need it. The poor, the homeless, minorities, whatever. They fight against the corruption and against the other gangs of this City who wish to exploit her. Anastasio joined The Soldiers at a young age in order to feed himself and his brother. Once his father was killed, he took Makeveli away from their mother and brought him to the "safety" of The Soldiers.
Fast forward 10 years, Makeveli is 16, a smart ass teenager who thought he had the world figured out. That is where I come in. My name is Jack, short for Jack the Ripper. Anastasio was the Vice-President of The Soldiers. Makeveli was a grunt still, working his way up the corporate ladder of The Soldiers. I was a homeless teenager/tagger/artist. I was going nowhere fast, enjoying the freedom of having little to no responsibilities.
I was standing in a dark, dank alley, trying to find something to tag with my symbol. There were rats scurrying under my feet, a stray cat was in a nearby garbage can. I looked around and found a bare white wall that someone had been kind enough to leave for me. I dropped my duffle bag and it hit the ground, the metal spray paint bottles clanking against each other as dust and dirt blew away from underneath the bag when it fell. I pulled out my gas mask, strapping it on before grabbing the first can and shaking it. The sweet sound of the agitator ball stirring up the paint and hitting the sides of the can, as I visualized the design on the wall. As I started my work, watching the paint misting out of the can, I started to hear some commotion farther down the alley. I stopped what I was doing and pulled down my mask, listening intently. Silence greeted me as I looked down the alley, blinking and shrugging, I pulled up my mask. As I put the can up in order to continue I heard a crash, like someone being thrown through a pile of garbage cans. I whipped my head around and dropped the spray can down into the duffle bag, racing off towards the sound. If I had ignored it, my life would have been completely different. But I didn't.
I raced off and turned a corner to see two men, maybe mid-twenties, one wearing a bandana over his hair, the other completely bald. I saw a kid around my age lying next to the garbage cans I'd heard, garbage still falling, cans still rolling.
"What are you guys doing?" I asked, trying to sound more confident than I was.
Bandana turned and smirked at Bald man. "Hey look Slim, another kid volunteering to give us his money." Laughing, Bandana came toward me, while Slim turned to watch us. Bandana came over there to kick my ass soundly, but this gave the kid on the ground enough time to leap up with a knife in his hand, stabbing Slim in the thigh. He then turned toward Bandana as Bandana turned to grab him. I took that time to grab a garbage lid and hit him in the back of the head. Bandana went down for the count as Slim fell over clutching his leg.
"Run." The kid said, grabbing me by the hood of my jacket and forcing me along. We ran the way I had come, allowing me to scoop up my duffle bag as we made our way to the street. We continued down the street, turning right and then left before he led me to what looked like an abandoned factory. We stood there in silence for 10 minutes. Finally he turned to me and smiled.
I blinked, "What are you grinning about?"
He laughed and held up two wallets, "I took their wallets."
I stood there, staring at him, before I started to laugh. I couldn't stop for a good 5 minutes. Finally I struck out my hand, "My Name's Jack."
"Makeveli," He said, smirking at me as he shook my hand. I was able to get my first good look at him. He had natural white hair, cut short, only about an inch long. He had icy blue eyes, filled with a crazy gleam, like he was plotting some sort of great scheme that he was itching to try out. He was pale, with a rounded jaw and a pointed nose. He was wearing a white T-Shirt with a dark blue jacket. He had dark jeans that were almost black but his shoes were as white as snow.
"Why were those guys beating you up?" I asked.
"They have been attacking people around here and robbing them. The Soldiers sent me to sniff them out. I wasn't supposed to be caught by them...But I guess shit happens." Makeveli said, shrugging and smirking. He raised an eyebrow at me. "What were you doing there?"
"I smirked, "Oh you know, just in the neighborhood, thought I might stop by, checkout the sites in the alley." I joked, winking. "I was just about to tag a wall when I heard you getting your ass kicked."
Makeveli laughed and grinned. "I feel like we are gonna get along great here Jack."
We were fast friends after that. We learned that we had a lot in common. Same taste in music, people, and philosophy. I met his brother Anastasio a couple of days later.
Makeveli was showing me around the gang's little home. It was not that far from where we first met. We were walking through the living room when Makeveli sat down on the couch.
"So what do you want to do, Jackie Boy?" He asked, pulling out a switch blade he always carried, flicking it in and out. I was about to answer when this man, at least 23 years old, same white hair as Makeveli, except a little bit longer, appeared. He was wearing a black sweat shirt with dark blue jeans and the same white shoes as Mak. He looked over at us, his icy blue eyes glaring at me.
"Who's this?" He asked
"This is Jack the Ripper, the tagger, artist, all around 'Jack' of all trades." Mak said, laughing lightly. Anastasio smirked, before looking back over at me. I knew he was sizing me up, and so I stood up as straight as I could. I watched him silently, curious as to what he might think of me. He just shrugged, "Just don't do anything too stupid, OK Mak?"
Mak looked at him, "When do I ever do anything stupid?" He asked, grinning. Anastasio stared at him, blinking slightly before smirking.
"Oh I guess that's right, you are just the model teenager, doing your homework, helping out old ladies, you know, the basic bitch." He grinned, looking at Mak. Mak blinked, trying to think of a comeback, but his brother just laughed and walked away. I watched him leave before looking back at Mak.
"Who was that?" I asked, raising an eyebrow at him.
"That is the Vice-President of The Soldiers, the man with the plan, the guy who's next in Line, my brother, Anastasio Porter." Mak said, looking back towards the television. He wouldn't tell me anything else about his brother. I tried to ask him questions on how Anastasio got to be Vice-President. "There are things you need to know, and things you don't. That is something you don't."
Makeveli was very private about his brother, but I could tell that he looked up to him. He got this sort of gleam in his eyes whenever Anastasio showed up, and he tried his best to impress the man. Anastasio for his part was a great brother, treating Makeveli fairly between all of the grunts, but when they were alone, Anastasio and Mak could joke around like they were best friends.
It was much like that for awhile after that, just hanging around, doing some stupid things here and there, but pretty much me and Mak would hang out randomly throughout the week. Mak did try to recruit me to The Soldiers, but hey, I'm a lover not a fighter. A couple of weeks after I first met Anastasio something terrible happened for The Soldiers, and for Mak.
Anastasio was doing a run, showing a grunt the ropes. Well, that particular grunt was an undercover cop. He had been trying to catch Anastasio in the act for awhile now, always trying to be next to Anastasio. On this particular run, he and his cop friends had set a trap for Anastasio. See the police were sick and tired of The Soldiers and their ways, because it made them look bad. They wanted the city for themselves, they wanted the power, and they wanted the money. So when Anasastio drove up to the warehouse, the grunt pulled out a gun, and put it to Anastasio's head.
When Makeveli heard I could just watch as his entire world just shattered. After that, it would be a long time until I saw Mak smile again. At Anastasio's wake, Makeveli gave the eulogy, and couldn't finish it. He walked away that day, and kept walking. I didn't see him for awhile, and I tried every place I knew to look for him. He had vanished, and no one knew where he had gone. It was quiet for 6 months while I waited. Finally, after all that time, Makeveli reappeared but he had changed. Gone was that kid who had that gleam and crazy spark in his eye, what was left was the cold, merciless, Soldier.
Makeveli went from Grunt to President of The Soldiers in the span of a couple of months. And once he became the Leader, everything changed for our quiet little City. Makeveli squarely blamed The Soldiers lack of presence in the City for his brother's death, and he was going to change that. He swiftly took over the police, greasing the right palms, taking the right heads. He even found out the undercover cop that killed his brother. Now, you'd think he would just kill him and be done with it. But that wasn't good enough. Makeveli made sure the man did not have anything else to live for, getting him fired, making his wife leave him, killing his remaining Family. Finally, Makeveli stood face to face with the man who had killed his brother.
"Do you know who I am?" Makeveli asked, his icy blue eyes staring right at the man, no emotion on his face.
"W-What do you want?" The man asked, raising an eyebrow. Makeveli had tracked him down to a local bar where he knew the man went to drown his sorrows. He sat next to him, his face emotionless, as it had been since Anastasio had died. Makeveli looked over at the man, not showing any emotion on his face.
"Do you...know...who...I...am?" Makeveli asked, his eyes connecting with the man. The man blinked, clearly confused, until he recognized the eyes, the hair, the face. "Y-You're sup-p-posed to be dead. I-I shot you!" The man said, standing up and pointing at Makeveli. Makeveli had grown his white hair out, flipping it away from his eyes. He stood up and grabbed the man by the throat.
"I killed your family, I took your job, I made your wife and kids leave you." Makeveli said, still no emotion on his face as he just stared at the man. "And now, you get to live with it, knowing that it was all your fault, because of how you took out my brother, for your own greed." He dropped the man, watching as he sat there on the ground. That is when Makeveli started to terrify me. He was no longer that kid I knew; he was a man, and a Leader. He looked at the world and had a plan on how to make it better. He no longer knew emotions, and he was some sort of observant God. He could tell when you were lying; he could read you better than you could read yourself. He knew what everyone's body language meant.
Makeveli had changed, and I was unsure if it was for the better. I tried to get him to act like he used to, tried to get him to have fun. He no longer smiled, laughed, cried, anything. I couldn't get anything out of him. That is, until I was able to introduce him to another of my friends, the beautiful, independent, Vitani Lee.