fiction. 500 wds. dirty deeds done cheap, local versions (from new novel)

Land-bank.

“Meet your new tutor, son. Me. Junior, daddy says it's time for you to grow up. Suit up. Pick out a tie already, a nice one, you're gonna be wearing it the rest of your life..”

“But Uncle, he's deadparked! He hasn't built or made a new move in thirty years!”

“Yah, you get like that with an organization. Fink-world means pushing on the weak links, developing, making waves. Gossip is easier to score on than thinking. Kill the wounded, survival of the connected and hot tech. Call him spiderman now, OK?”

“No. Uncle, I hate this! I wanna go party with babes instead. A couple hotties are coming over tonight.”

“And that got shut down. Nope, no nookie for you anymore. you're dry and not-high these days. You heard the old man. No more glitter or vapor or for you. Little man, the family has news for you. Vandals, jackals and street-slime are off limits for ya now, it's time to go to work for the family firm. You're a land-bank developer now, you build stuff. So start thinking like one. In percentages.”

“But my father doesn't even develop anymore. He sits around and uses the tips his flunkies dig up for him on other corporations. Dad's a vulture, he ends up mostly running around killing friends and making enemies for years. Hasn't done anything else for years.”

“And they're all family. Or friends. Most of them, anyway. Man, this sucks.”

“Grow up. You know more about friends than anyone else. Who else would you hit on?”

“There's worse news. You don't see everything yet anyway, kiddo. Develop, weakness exploitation and advantage consolidation. Daddy is also cashing in by trying to recruit your uncle's enemies as friends now. Or victims. Political-favors type thing and move he can make.”

“And it's even worse than you think. Time to make moves and score, winner. You're second-gen and need to start thinking made-men. You'll learn. Buy city hall first or any plan they hear of gets passed to a current-connected favorite. They'll file ther serial numbers off and hand ot off on a platter. Find a favorite who likes that work , someone you've got enough on to keep them in line, get them in place there.”

“Actually, that's what you were supposed to be doing while partying, boy. Collecting dirt on people like a real Mr. Land-man. Now? Welcome to downtown. Put a suit on. Develop, kill the weak, use dirt to your advantage.”

“No. Bad enough the old man got started by vandalizing farmers till they came up cheap.”

“Out-maneuvered, bid and hated on most of them, too. If the plans from the school-board for their new school hadn't come his way he won't've ever gotten started at all.”

“That time. He did have a few shopping centers to conodoize. Parking-lots made it for him, right?”

“He did. By killing the neighborhood first, tho.”

“Man, I don't like this! This sucks, uncle. Block-busting by renting to gangs and grabbing the rest of the neighborhood as people ran off? He 's not only a slum-lord, he made the slum first.”

“Get used to that. Those thugs come in handy with the hard cases who don't want to sell.”

“But I wanna party!”

“And he's sending you out to make traffic for him instead. Get used to it. Which dirty-deed do you want to do first? Land, politics or finance?”

“That's being a developer, all right. It's all dirty deeds. Think we can get a hotel thru city hall? A mall? Something clean and non-violent, maybe?”

“Nope. You'd have Asian gangs shooting up the driveway by supper if you tried that, or someone else. Any city-minion clerk that ok'd you would get machined-gunned down in a parking-lot by tonight, trust me.”

“Relax, kid. That's actually happened. It's a dirty world and people play hard out there.”

“Wanna get in the zone? Ditto getting a park hived off for you to condo-ize, or having the feds hand you a massive office tower. Get in line for pork-barrel is weird; and killing pigs is the least of that work. Info is more than crap-throwing in the papers, it gets dangerous. Having a well-placed cop or two leaking to you will make more ops than you know.”

“Spend your time, money and effort well, newbie. Daddy wants fast results, too.”

“Ha. That means anything I get together he'll take over, right?”

“A percentage of, if he can. Don't tell him and it won't happen, maybe. Well, if you're lucky. Your people will leak too.”

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