Category: John Abruzzi (Genfic)
Summary: Abruzzi’s POV. Success calls to success: the makings of an Underworld enforcer.
Author’s Notes: Written for philosophy_20, where I claimed Prison Break, the General Series. This is for prompt #3, “Ends Justify The Means.” Also for the pbreak_drabbles “Memory” challenge.
They were powerful men, all of them. Sometimes ordinary to look at, but marked by that difference of knowing that they could force their will, that they could bring a threat home when it was necessary.
This was his birthright—-his destiny. He would start small, little jobs for big men, and someday he would take his place at the table.
John witnessed his first killing when he was fifteen. It was on one of the Saturdays when he was the go-fer for Family meetings at his uncle’s textile factory. He would listen in on the gathering as he went in and out of the room, picking up stray words and piecing together a fabric of tradition. The discussion got louder that day, became heated, and John returned with a tray full of sandwiches just as Zeppo Pantoni got a bullet through the eyes and arced over in his chair ten feet in front of him. The tray crashed to the floor, food and napkins scattered on the cement before the seeping pool of red, and John bolted into the bathroom to vomit.
His uncle found him there, patted him on the shoulder as he rinsed his mouth in the sink. “It’s business,” Uncle Gianni said. “You can’t have people speaking out against the agreements— it breaks down the order. You’ll see. Keeping everyone on the same track with no slip-ups—that’s how you get the job done. One weak member can take down the whole group.”
By the time John went in to clean up the sandwiches, Zeppo was gone. A towel had been draped across the blood temporarily, and John was sent to get lunch from the corner deli. Order had been restored. The ripple in the flow was gone, and everything moved forward just as before.
Years later, when John carried out his own version of Order, he had taken those lessons to heart. As he forced a dock foreman to his knees, he entertained the notion that a death-sentence for an unintended mistake was an awfully harsh punishment. But this was the way things were done. Doubts and uncertainty opened the door to chaos, and there was a larger picture to uphold that was bigger than the life of this one man.
John barely flinched as he pulled the trigger, and he forced a bottle of chianti down on top of the lump in his stomach afterward.
It would get better, and so would he. This was for The Family, for the business. It was for years and years of a system he had been selected and groomed to uphold.
He was not there to ask questions, or to invent new schemes of his own.
He was a thread in the tapestry of tradition. It was his job to complete the picture-- not to break the loom that wove it.
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