Part III- Rashard Miller
“The brightest stars cast the longest shadows.”
— Will of Alton Miller, Archives of Hansen and Koch
Rashard Miller did not build New York City. To him it was simply here for the taking with the lucrative bright lights and the people of vision that seemed to trudge in and out of here with stars in their eyes or a look of defeated resignation. The city never swallowed him up, but it spit him back out with a red stain on his soul.
He built an empire out of that pain with Platinum records lining every wall of the corporate office. Rashard didn’t own the electronic video billboard in the middle of Time Square or the plasma televisions that now brought movie theaters to people’s homes, but he owned the stars that appeared in them. He owned the ones in movies, the ones in commercials— even the appear at the MET and it wouldn’t be long before the Networks would be his too.
Rashard stood atop the world he now owned in an office of gleaming black and silver. It was night time outside and Broadway glimmered, a jewel of sparkling neon florescent lights. He relaxed, allowing his arms to fall at his back, his massive frame casting a large black shadow behind him. His shadows rose up next to him, four in total with striking silver eyes in a mass of complete darkness.
“The deed is done,” they said in unison, four voices with one spirit.
“Good,” he said with a grin breaking out on his face. Rashard was nearly as black as the spirits under his command. He wore slate gray suit with silver pinstripes with a purple shirt and tie tucked neatly underneath. “Everything is in place. Lets prepare for the funeral.”
“There is one more thing.”
Rashard raised an eyebrow as the shadows cowed slightly. “Is there a problem?”
“Koch asked us to relay a message. The football team, it is not under our control.”
“That is a big problem,” Rashard said, his voice growing dangerous. “My dad has owned that property for an entire season already. Why wouldn’t it go to me?”
“This contract was not handled by our lawyers. He made an agreement with the Russell. Koch will know more.”
“DeBerg…” He said with a measure of loathing. “Tell Koch to send me the contract details.”
The shadows bowed and melted back into the darkness. They slithered across the black carpet like the wake from a deep-sea creature and under the door. Rashard turned towards his city, determined not to let any of it slip through his fingers.
I play a lot of video games and the best way to describe the challenge in writing this is in terms of a Bioware game. If you don’t know what that is Google the company or games like Mass Effect or Dragon Age II. In those games I always paragon or the “good guy” route. The characters I create in those games generally do the right thing and oddly enough, the support characters that I choose to play with are pretty similar.
I don’t like playing the bad guys in my video games and I don’t like writing bad guy characters. Writing Antagonists are not my strong suit and Alton Miller was a challenge. To be really general about this because I’m not all that sure what is happening next in this novel, he’s about as twisted as you think he is. To get around this I had to make him likeable to the point where the audience will still find him palatable despite all the bad things he’s about to do
I other words, think Renegade Shepard. He’s charismatic enough saves the world even though he acts like an asshole.