Bella Luna Taverna
Approaching Toni for a job wasn't a decision to be taken lightly. It was a high-stakes gamble, teetering on the edge of chaos, waiting to explode with alarming speed. The captivating conversation between Alessio and Toni at the bar revealed more than just Alessio's questionable sanity and propensity for violence. It was a signpost of the treacherous path I was about to tread. Nevertheless, it was a necessary step for me. Last night's harrowing job had ripped away the veil of illusion, shattering the false belief that my wits and the element of surprise would be enough to navigate this unforgiving city. The memory of the heist's final moments seared into my mind, a reminder of my lack of hands-on experience, training, and resources.

Thrown into a desperate struggle against the cobalt thugs, I was saved only by my quick thinking and the presence of the vibro-glove. But even then, as I was hurtling through the air, ejected from a window due to the malfunctioning glove, the consequences loomed over me. The brief period of free fall could have resulted in a far worse outcome—a shattered neck, a broken limb, or countless other gruesome possibilities.

Navigating the urban jungle's labyrinthine streets demanded guidance, and a mentor to show me the way. And among the options available, none surpassed the Falcones. Their acceptance of individuals from diverse backgrounds made my non-Italian heritage a non-issue. Yet, the bitter truth remained that rising to the ranks of a made-man within the mob was an unattainable dream. However, in the context of Gotham, the days of Carmine Falcone's ironclad power structure were numbered. Sooner or later, the unstoppable wave of costumed freaks would descend, mercilessly tearing apart the carefully constructed web of the mob's influence that spanned decades. When that day arrived, I could simply walk away from the chaos that consumed this city.

Another driving force behind my decision was the pressing need for a conduit into the pulsating heart of the criminal underworld. My plans required resources that eluded legal channels alone. They demanded a network of connections, an influx of money, and a consolidation of power. Relying on homemade technology left me exposed to high probabilities of risk, and the stakes involved were higher than ever.

My thoughts were interrupted as Toni peered at me, eyes wide with disbelief and suspicion. "Did Alessio knock your senses loose, boy? First, you show up with double the requested money, all 'resourceful,' and now you're asking for a job? The first time you walked through those doors, you were all righteous and honest, and now you want to dabble in the 'business'?" Toni's accusatory tone cut through the smoky air, the single light bulb overhead casting a menacing shadow on his face as he placed a handgun on the desk.

I met his gaze, my voice laced with determination and a touch of desperation. "It might sound like something a snitch would say, Toni, but there isn't a soul in this town who'd dare to rat you or the Falcones out. They know something worse than swimming with the fish awaits them. As for the change in my personality, it took lying in that alley after Alessio and his crew pummeled me to finally grasp the truth about this city. No good deed goes unpunished here, and working on the docks won't cut it anymore. I want to play for the winning team. My father, he was an honest man, a straight shooter. Look where it got him—dead and buried, nobody but me attending his funeral. I refuse to die a nobody like him."

As I finished my impassioned plea, I watched Toni slowly begin to clap, a sardonic smile playing on his lips. "Well, well, well, look at little Red Riding Hood finding her courage. Unfortunately for you, I hear the same sob story every week, from some coming from the Narrows or Bowery, and they all whimper away when put to the test. What makes you any different from the rest of the rabble?"

I locked my gaze with Toni, my eyes ablaze with a potent mixture of determination and desperation. "You're not wrong, Toni. There may be others who come to you with sob stories, seeking a way into your world, only to flee when faced with trouble. But I assure you, I'm not like them. This city has scarred me and shaped me in its crucible of brutality. The pain, the fear—it courses through my veins. And instead of succumbing to it, I've chosen to rise above, to fight back."

Toni's sardonic smile wavered for a fleeting moment, his eyes narrowing as he assessed me. "You think you're special, huh? That you've seen it all felt it all. But let me tell you, kid, this city has a way of humbling even the bravest souls."

Leaning forward, I spoke with unwavering determination and an underlying intensity. "I don't claim to know everything, Toni. But what I do know is that the Falcones hold the key to my survival in Gotham. They possess the connections, the power. And I bring something to the table—a hunger to learn, an unyielding drive to prove myself. I won't back down in the face of adversity. Fear won't consume me."
Toni's applause ceased his expression now a mask of contemplation. "You sure can talk, kid, but talk is cheap to me." A sinister glint danced in his eyes.
"Let's see if you can walk the walk."

He turned and motioned for me to follow him. As we exited the room, flanked by Toni's men, we descended into the depths of the cellar. Upon reaching the lower level, hidden behind a stack of barrels, a concealed door was revealed. We stepped into a soundproofed room, where a man sat bound to a wooden chair. Before him lay an assortment of torture instruments, positioned ominously on a nearby table. The man appeared weathered, bearing the weight of age, resembling my late father from a distant memory. His face bore a fresh wound, blood trickling down his cheek. Tear-filled eyes met mine, but his words were stifled by the gag in his mouth.

Toni stepped forward, his gaze piercing into me. "Danny boy, meet Christian Burch, the shipment manager at Kincaid Inc., a front for Maroni's drug import business. Lately, old Lou Maroni has been getting a little too bold, swiping our product at the docks, thinking we won't find out amidst our ongoing battle with the bat freak. But we did find out, and now it's time to deliver some payback. However, Mr. Burch here refuses to divulge the arrival time and lot number of Maroni's next shipment. I want you to make him sing like a mockingbird."

Conflicting emotions surged within me. Torture was a realm I never wished to venture into, yet the stakes were high, and my loyalty to the Falcones hung in the balance. I glanced at the table, a chilling array of tools—screwdrivers, hammers, pliers, wrenches—beckoning to be employed.
I couldn't help but plead, my eyes searching Toni's. "Isn't there any other way, Toni?"

He merely shrugged, a cold indifference coating his response. "Either he talks, or you don't leave this room. Remember, you've heard too much."
Taking a deep breath, I steeled myself, suppressing the unease gnawing at my core. I slipped on a pair of gloves, the detachment settling in. "I understand, Toni. I'll do what needs to be done."

As I approached the trembling man, my voice maintained an unwavering steadiness, laced with a tinge of remorse. "I'm sorry it has come to this, but I need the information. It's nothing personal." I removed his gag, and he began to weep and plead, his voice choked with desperation. "Please, don't do this. I beg you. I have a wife and two kids. If I say anything, they'll be killed. Let me go, please, I beg you. I can't say anything."

He continued to shout as I grasped a screwdriver and forcefully thrust it into his palm, demanding answers. "Ship, date, time, lot number!" Burch's cries intensified, his pleas growing louder. With a heavy heart, I removed the screwdriver and repeated the act, his screams piercing the air. "Ship, date, time, lot number!"

With each probing question, I exerted unyielding pressure, utilizing the array of tools at my disposal to extract the sought-after answers. The air in the room grew heavy with muffled cries and pleas for mercy, mingling with the essence of desperation and the resounding echo of the Falcones' retribution.

Time seemed to stretch into an interminable blur as hours melted away. The man's resistance, once stalwart, began to crumble under the unrelenting pursuit of truth. His pleas transformed into fractured confessions, the floodgates of information breaking free. Breathless and weary, I walked up to Toni, my voice laden with a mixture of exhaustion and triumph. "The Corsican. December 2nd. 1 AM. 47-B."

Toni's gaze held mine for a lingering moment, the gravity of his decision palpable in the air. He leaned back in his chair, a begrudging flicker of admiration crossing his features. "Alright, kid. Consider this your trial by fire. You've proven your loyalty. We'll use this information wisely. And about what the guy said about his wife and kids... turns out he never had any. He's been divorced twice, no children. He landed this job solely because his old man was pals with Paul Maroni. As for why I didn't share that earlier, well where's the fun in that?" A light chuckle escaped him, underscoring the sinister nature of our world. "Come to this address at 9 PM on Monday."

As I turned to leave the room, still shaken by the grim reality of what I had done, Toni's voice called me back. "Kid, go with Feddy here and get yourself a change of clothes. Yours are drenched in blood. Remember, in this world, loyalty comes at a price. The Falcones don't tolerate weakness. Step out of line, betray us, and you'll discover just how merciless this city can truly be, by the way," he said, " Welcome to the family."

Afterwards, I obediently followed Feddy, acquiring a change of clothes, and exited the bar, the cool night air providing a stark contrast to the suffocating atmosphere within the bar. I walked a few minutes, seeking solace in an alleyway, where the weight of my actions finally caught up to me. Overwhelmed by the magnitude of what I had become, I doubled over, retching into the alleyway, the physical release mirroring the emotional turmoil coursing through my veins.

A/N: I Experimented a little bit with chapter to show how bad things are in gotham and how much the morality of it's citizens have fallen, also I it was short chapter next one will be a long one, please do tell how was this chapter and if I should continue with this dark tone or not