Michael Castelli knew literally everything about legacy families. And what he knew best was how to destroy them.
He used to be a part of a legacy family too once. He had prepared himself all his childhood and teenagehood to become a 7th generation heir. He had wanted it more than anything in his life. But he also had a brother. A lazy snobbish brother. And the community vote had decided his brother would become the heir. Michael had lost by one vote. And he had become a spare. A spare! What a mistake! He couldn't bear his narrow loss and the sight of his brother running the family. He moved out of the town and changed his name.
But before he left his family, he had eavesdropped from behind the door, when his father passed the title of heir to his brother. He secretly hoped that his father would disregard the result of the community vote, but he didn't. However Michael learned a secret that had been passed only from heir to heir.
When a legacy family is founded, the Founder receives a Founder's Writ that is hidden inside a suit of armor created by a special legacy blacksmith master. Losing the Founder's writ means losing the status of a legacy family.
Armed with this knowledge Michael made it his life's mission to destroy legacy families. If he can't be the heir, there won't be any others! And so he plotted and schemed. When a legacy family got caught in a desperate situation, he would send his agent to contact an unaware member of the family and offer a miraculous solution in exchange for the old piece of armor. They always took the bait and then there was a legacy family no more.
Tonight there was supposed to be another delivery. Another piece in his collection. But Michael already knew his agent was coming back empty-handed.
Tony: "Hello, Michael."
Michael: "Hello, Tony. Please, join me."
Michael: "Do you play?"
Tony: "Not as much as I used to."
Michael: "Too bad. A game of chess sharpens your mind. Working out is fine, Tony, but chess teaches you about strategy."
Tony: "Wish I had more time for that."
Michael: "So, tell me what happened. Where is my prize?"
Tony: "There was a conflict of interests. You know how things work in our line of work, Michael. Sooner or later you cross the path of someone else from the business."
Michael: "But the family has got the baby back. I saw it in the news. You say it wasn't your doing?"
Tony: "I'm sorry. I can't take credit for that. The police found the baby. When I learned that the kidnapping is someone else's operation and not just a work of few thugs, I decided not to interfere."
You must think I'm a complete idiot, Michael thought. And you seem to have forgotten I have friends at the police. He was furious. But he managed to stay calm on the outside, though his eye was twitching.
Michael: "I see. However, you didn't honour our deal, Tony. That's not good for your reputation. Such information tend to spread fast among our people."
Tony: "Listen, Michael. I already returned the money you had paid me. But I have another offer for you. I'll do the next job for you for free. How does that sound? Just pick a target."
Michael: "Hmmmmm... Let me think about it."
Tony: (chuckles) "You had me scared there for a moment."
Michael: "Let's drink on our next deal."
You weren't scared enough, Tony. But I swear you will be sooner or later. I'll make sure of it, Michael thought.
While mixing drinks Michael was gritting his teeth. Tony had no idea he made an enemy today.
Tony: "So how's your family doing, Michael?"
Michael: "You know, since Bianca died, things haven't been the same."
Tony: "You are not that old. There are still plenty fish in the sea."
Michael: "Coming from a sworn bachelor such as yourself..."
Tony: "True. I have no right to give advice in that department."
Michael: "Thanks for trying anyway."
Tony: "I suppose I should go. Don't forget to give me a call me when you make your decision about the next job."
Marissa: "Dad. Our guests are waiting for you downstairs. You should give that speech you've been practicing the whole afternoon."
Michael: "Of course, sweetheart. Thanks for reminding me."
Marissa: "Tony! It's been a long time since your last visit. It's so good to see you again."
Tony: "Marissa. You look stunning as always."
Marissa: "Flatterer. Trying to talk your way out again? I won't forgive you so easily for neglecting us. You must join us for the party and keep me company. I'm sure we can find you some spare suit."
Michael: "Tony is leaving, Marissa."
Marissa: "Why? I won't alow that. He owes me a dance. Don't you, Tony? You had to leave at such short notice last time too. I've been lonely."
Marissa: "Just a dance, Tony. You and me. Wouldn't it be lovely?"
Michael: "Marissa, he has to go."
Tony: "Your dad's right."
Marissa: "Alright then. I'll send you an invitation for the next fundraiser we have planned. Don't you dare not to show up, Tony. Or I'll be really mad at you. Promise me."
Tony: "Okay, I promise. I definitely don't want you to get mad at me."
Marissa: "That's right."
Tony: "Goodbye, Marissa. Michael."
Michael: "I'm sorry, Marissa, but you can't date that man."
Marissa: "What are you talking about? Why not? You know I love him and all the time you've been supportive. You introduced us! And now you want me to stop loving him? I don't have a switch to turn off my feelings, dad!"
Michael: "I know, sweetheart. But you can't have him. I have a reason to believe he's been with another woman."
Marissa: "Oh. No no no. He wouldn't."
Michael: "He would and he has. He never promised you anything, did he?"
Marissa: "No, but I thought..."
Marissa: "Who is she?"
Michael: "It doesn't matter."
Marissa: "It matters to me, dad! I want to know the name of the woman who stole the man I love!"
Michael: "Beryl Heffner."