Synopsis: Thomas meets with an associate from the law firm that his family does business with to make a purchase in the East End of Gotham. The associate finds the location of the purchase bewildering despite the fact that Thomas assures her that it’s for a legitimate endeavor. Towards the end of their meeting Thomas takes notice of a situation that he feels requires his attention.
This was something different. At least that’s what Thomas told himself while he walked through the building. He glanced around considering everything he had been told. He wanted to be elsewhere, but right now there was business to take care of. Things that needed to be done. Life needed to be live. He didn’t need to see Mason to hear. The sounds of her heels crossing the floor along with the scent of her perfume told Thomas exactly where she was it.
He was standing near the entrance having already passed through. He wanted to meet with Nyah, but she sent her associated to work with him. It seemed that she had other business that needed to be taken care of.
“This is…” She started.
“Is what I want. I want the entire building. Bottoms fell out a long time ago. Taxes are what they are. I’ll handle it. The bank wants to offload it. They want it off their books. Doesn’t look good to hold pieces of land like this in East End,” he reminded her.
“And you do?” She glanced at him.
“May I remind you that Ms. Richards is not in the habit of involving herself in criminal enterprises, Mister Blake. I understand that your family has long standing ties with the firm, but we rather avoid problematic individuals if we can.”
Thomas took no offense. It’s not like he hadn’t had his fair share of run ins with the law, but he wasn’t looking for that type of legal representation.
“I requested Nyah’s assistance, because she’s good at what she does. The firm that you work for has always done right by my family.” Not something that he opted to talk about, but this was different.
“This is a legitimate acquisition. I’m sure you’ve heard many things, but I assure you that I do not intend to involve the firm in anything that would damage their reputation.” Though doing business with him, probably already did that, but some ties can never be broken.
“I looked over several properties and this one best suits my needs.” Thomas went as far to wear a suit which he normally did not do even when meeting with one of the legal eagles from the law firm. He had several meetings with several different realtors, but it took some time to find the right one, the one that would bring him where he wanted and get the information as quickly as he desired.
“I will admit, that I’m a bit confused as to why you would want to purchase a building in this area. Surely the Diamond District or someone where in between. The assets that you’ve maintained would lend itself to an area of better opportunity,” the associated counseled.
Her choice of words made Thomas smirk. That was cute she was trying to help guide him in the right direction. Investment in this area was like dropping stacks of bills into a money hole.
“Perhaps, but the intended purpose of this place wouldn’t do me any good in those areas. Besides I tend to avoid the old stomping grounds. People get nervous and I don’t feel right there.” He only went into the Diamond District if he had too. He went in search of information and he got it. Perhaps he went further than most would suspect, and he wasn’t hanging around a bar, but he didn’t need booze at the moment. He had other things to take care of, other things to do.
He took some time to himself just to drift about. See what the fall out was, and it had already started. So, Thomas did what he felt was necessary.
Olivia Mason would not go so far to say that she was impressed by the by Thomas Blake, she would say that she was confused. Many had described him as a bit unhinged, but then again, they did live in Gotham and one person’s unhinged was another’s sane. Given the number of individuals that he could be compared with there were worse individuals, but then again this was the first time she met with Mister Blake. The only thing that seemed a bit out of the ordinary was he wanted to purchase a building in one of the worst areas in Gotham.
One had to be skeptical about the area.
She glanced at Thomas while she continued to tap on her tablet sending through a few emails.
“You would like to put in a bid then. You could do that through the realtor.” She reminded him.
“Yes, but the funds that I want to use for this project are Blake family funds and that requires me to involve the attorneys.” It was something that he established to prevent himself from doing something foolish which was always possible given his inclinations from time to time.
“I would like to place the bid, and I want you to work with the realtor. In addition to that I want know everything about this building. Everything I can about the surrounding buildings. I want to know who my neighbors are and I rather that you put the firm’s resources to work at doing so.” He could look into it, but it would probably send the wrong kind of message. Again, this was supposed to be legitimate.
It was true that he took jobs whenever they arose, but right now this was something that needed his attention.
Wetting his lips Thomas stepped through open room that stood near the front of the building looking out into the street.
“It’s going to take some time. I’m going to have to see what can be saved and what can’t. What fits and what doesn’t.” It was going to take time, and while he did have resources, he didn’t want to squander it all. He wanted it done right.
“Are you planning on flipping this,” Olivia queried. “There are better properties that would move faster than this one, Mister Blake. The only kind of people that would be interested in property here are…”
“Are?” Interrupting her Thomas turned to face the woman.
“Criminals? Unsavory? Thieves? Killlers? Insane? Oh, wait I know. Undesirable.” Did that make him insane? Did that make him a killer? “Dangerous. Unstable?” He took a step towards her tipping his head ever so slightly.
“Those kinds of people are spread all throughout the city, Ms. Mason. I’m sure you were aware of that. The city is also filled with other kinds of people. Desperate. Downtrodden. Hard working. Down on their luck who can’t help where they live. They see no way out, can’t figure a way out. Circumstances stand in the way preventing them from doing with some can, but they keep trying. And sometimes the two are not mutually exclusive.” He shrugged.
“The cracks in Gotham can be as wide as the largest of canyons. One or two people don’t slip through them, dozens. Those people are here too and the only choice they see are the ones they’re presented with. If all people are given is trash, then they’ll start to accept the trash. Sometimes it’s not enough to offer someone a way out, sometimes you have to be the way out. Sometimes you have to be an alternate choice for those with limited options.”
He stopped short of bumping into her. “Even if it means that you have to make some a little uncomfortable from time to time.” With a smirk he turned away stepping back towards the window.
“I know the process. I know the length of time it takes. I also know that retainer your firm is paid should help expedite the process. Please do put your best foot forward. I rather enjoy doing business with you all.
“Think of it as doing your part to give back.”
Olivia almost scoffed at the statement. “From what I was told. You are neither a good or nice man, Mister Blake. Are you trying to turn over a new leaf?”
Thomas chose not to turn towards her. Instead he looked through the jagged pieces of glass of the broken window as several older kids dragged another into the nearby alley across the street.
“Never claimed to be a good man. Far from nice. Truth be told, good people in Gotham tend to die. Nice people forgotten.” Walking over towards the door he pushed it open. “I’m far from dead and I tend to make an impression of some kind apparently.” He let the door close behind him heading across the street.
“Told your mom that the pills weren’t free, Jay. Stealing isn’t tolerated. Sadly I couldn’t find her so you’ll have to do. Question is does she get a warning or does she get a message. You know. Hood style.”
There was going to be a message, but not the ones this little gang was hoping for. What was it about being good or nice? Maybe he would ask them when this was all over.
Pride of Gotham sounds like a good name. It will probably get mocked, but it sounds nice. It was what was going through Thomas’s mind as he disappeared into the alley to be a “nice” prospective neighbor.