The Leader

The businessman in the business suit was sent in by the cute secretary.

Looking through the mortar proof transparent armor window of the government building, was the city leader – one of the most feared men in politics.

The door to his office hissed, and a smartly dressed businessman stepped through the opening, the leader turned around.

The businessman made a gesture, indicating that he would prefer the conversation to be private.

The leader was fine with that, after all this man did pass the security scan. Even though he was bigger, stronger and had a pistol bulge on his hip, the leader saw no threat. He motioned towards the ceiling sensor, and it shut down, turning up the lighting and closing down the shutters with it.

The leader motioned him to the guest seat, and himself sat down behind his desk.

“Let’s talk business.” The business man said.

“I’m listening.”

The businessman leaned forward, stared into the Leader’s eyes and snapped: “I’ll cut to the chase. I work for the biggest crime boss in the region, any word of this conversation gets out and there will be repercussions. Do you understand?”

The Leader who had instinctively backed away a little resumed his posture, and nodded.

The businessman stood up, legs swatting away his guest chair and leaned over the Leader’s table. “We’re looking into importing some product, and we want you to look the other way when it gets here, if you catch my drift.”

The leader tilted his head to one side.

“Here are the elaborate details for you to follow that make sure you never find out who, what or where, all you need to do is to provide what we want you to provide. Of course, there will be a little something worth your trouble.”

An envelope was slapped onto his desk, the leader looked blankly at the businessman who was breathing straight down his neck.

After a while, the leader responded. “Alright, I’ll see what I can do.”

“See, that wasn’t so bad.” Smiled the businessman fiendishly as he straightened himself back up.

“Anything else I can do for your boss?” Asked the leader.

The businessman’s smile twitched for just a second, and he replied: “Maybe in the future, sport.”

The Leader relaxed back into his chair as the businessman exited his office.

He brought up a white board, full of doodles and notes ranging from “fix roads”, “church”, “hospitals”, “drug war”, “girl scout cookies”, “terrorist threats”, “rape problem”, “buy milk” etc. and he located a vacant spot and filled in “smuggling”.

His pen led his hand around the board, in a fluttering of linking, erasing, pondering and relinking, a perpetual dancing of thought manifesting itself in written expression, inelegant yet coldly rational.

The cute secretary could see the businessman’s pistol bulge and sheer physical prowess, and she was always worried. But, she knew that she had no reason to be worried for the Leader, after all she herself feared him more than most.

Because there he was, having just been fiercely intimidated by what might have been mafia who most certainly would have threatened those close to him, yet he was working on paper as if it were merely an intensely complicated puzzle with no solution.

But for the Leader, it was just a puzzle with a solution.

Nobody knows what happened and how it happened, but if you came to town four years later, you would swear that you have never been anywhere like this before. Except that you have. Because the neighboring city was just as graceful as this one, there was a rhythm pulsating through the veins so perfect it synchronized right up with your own heartbeat. Everyone was still alive, everyone still did what they did best, but somehow everything finally made sense. Nobody knows what exactly caused this change, all they knew was that both cities were once managed by the same useless hack.

And the useless hack looked back.

He was one of the most feared men in politics, chased out of town after town by people who realized they didn’t need him.

The leader didn’t mind.

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