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View character profile for: The Manager
View character profile for: Dieter Karl Paul Weber
The morning was peaceful, I made myself a breakfast of scrambled eggs and toast, took in a line and enjoyed a joint on the balcony letting in the cold air and trying to find comfort in the unceasing sound of traffic.
New York had never been my favorite. The atmosphere was an intoxicating melting pot of attitude, prestige and helplessness. For one of the most powerful cities in the world it wasn't hard to think of it as weak once you look down an alleyway. I don't think it will ever change.
Once I was back inside I opened up the briefcase I brought with me from Seattle. Deborah was inside. "As stunning as ever darling." Raising the high caliber pistol from its fitting in the mesh lining I admired her curves and sharp edges, checked the safety and made sure the chamber was clear. She had been my friend through many dangers, a standoff in a Las Vegas casino in ninety-six was when I first wielded her to save my life. Chambered for the forty-four magnum she was a balance of intimidation and stopping power with a matte black finish to round off her beauty. I gave her a quick cleaning and prepared her for any duties that may require her expertise. Slipping it into a holster on my right waist along with a trio of additional magazines on the opposite side.
I was almost left alone the entire morning until a short series of knocks on the apartment door. Quickly distracting me from any plans I had mentally made before my three o'clock appointment at the docks. I had just finished tightening my tie before I made my way towards the door. As I placed my hand on the door handle I leaned forward to take a glance through the small peekhole in the door. The Manager was standing on the other side. I twisted the door handled and pulled the door towards me. "To what do I owe the pleasure?" I asked him as we both traded smiles.
"When Mr.Kozielewski's top man is staying in my hotel I like to make sure nothing is left to his discomfort." The Manager spoke with the same air of casual authority as he always has. "In town for business or recreation?"
"Business. I was just about head downstairs for a drink and some lunch, join me?"
The dish of Wiener Schnitzel was as expected. Pure perfection, a marvelously tender cut of venison with a balanced plethora of seasoning within the fried breading of the crust. The flavours and textures provided by the side salad complemented flawlessly. Topped off by the premium glass of Riesling, it was almost euphoric.
"Let's get down to brass tacks. What did you want to talk to me about?" I asked the Manager whose initial response was just another smirk.
"I have received news that there is an opposing party looking to intercept this coming shipment on it's way to the plant." I raised my brows, I knew there was another side to him telling me this, he wants something.
"What will be the cost to Mr.Kozielewski for this information?" I asked, keeping my voice level to not draw attention to my growing stress.
"Only that I receive the first batch once this coming shipment is processed. As quickly as he can make it for me." There had to be more, this was like being the only person inside a Burger King and asking for your food first. He was going to get his share of the fresh coins, the Continental was the biggest head in New York. I rubbed my chin and looked him in the eyes.
"He must loan you to me for a task." My heart skipped a beat. This was a step up, this must be a big job, but why me? There are a lot of others with similar credentials and many of them are better. "You seem surprised Mr.Weber."
"I am, you can get your hands on almost anyone, it doesn't make sense why you would choose me." The Manager took a sip from his glass of red wine, staring into my eyes. It felt like he was reading my mind.
"You have been in this business for a long time, you seem to be unaware of it but word gets around of the things you have done for Mr.Kozielewski. He trusts you, more than anyone else under him." He reached into the left side of his jacket and drew out an white envelope and slid it across the table towards me. "Inside is the information to show to Mr.Kozielewski about the threat to his shipment." I took the envelope up, it was thick with contents, there had to be more inside then just what he was telling me. "Now Mr.Weber, before I go I must ask you one more question." He stood up from the table and straightened out his jacket. "Do you trust Mr.Kozielewski?"
His words echoed in my head as he walked away. I had worked under Aleksander Kozielewski for over twelve years. Managing the dock and the smelting plant teams, escorting shipments. Do I trust him? Hell, I just came back from an intelligence gathering assignment on a competitor. Fuck, I even guard Aleksander. He trusts me with his life. I killed many in his name... but did I trust him?
I found myself doubtful. I pocketed the envelop and made my way out of the hotel. All the way to the docks the question remained. Do I trust him? I jiggled both views in my head. I made up my mind when I closed the door of the SUV behind me and made my way to the warehouse.