Rising Star Cafe, Central.
Mr. King had attempted to leave me, and my colleagues, with a good first impression of himself, there is no denying that. When we first contacted him regarding this interview, the man was more than delighted to free up several hours of his day in order to make our acquaintance on a professional level, and share some of his endeavors and wisdom with our readers, going as far as suggesting we conduct the interview in one of his more well-known establishments during downtime, the Rising Star Cafe in Central. I would lie if I said that the prospect of free coffee and pastries didn't entice me enough to demand that I conduct this meeting on behalf of the magazine. But, despite the welcoming atmosphere the locale and personnel offered me, alongside the surprisingly high quality service, it didn't alleviate the feeling of being unwanted in the premise. Behind the mask of smiles and pleasantries they offered me when I talked to them, it was easy enough to spot their annoyance at my presence when they didn't believe I was looking at them. They did little but pretend to work around the building, skimping from room to room, whispering amongst themselves, and nervously waiting for me to pack my bags and leave. I was entertaining the though, seeing as Mr. King had already missed the deadline he himself set by half an hour. The gentle ringing of the front entrance bell, and a loud shout at one of the girls working the bar signaled the arrival of Mr. King.
His face was contorted into a grimace as he hurriedly limped towards the bar, leaning slightly to the side while supporting himself on a metal cane, seemingly ignoring me. It seemed the man was about to scold and argue with the young woman, before she managed to direct his attention towards me. For a faint second, I could properly see the faces of the two. That of the employee was one of fear, her shoulders slumped and legs shaking slightly, while Kings expression would closely resemble that of a man gone mad with rage. Yet it only took the both of them a moment to readjust themselves, putting on a pair of warm, and comforting smiles. Apologizing for his tardiness, King instructed the girl to give them some space to talk and that they would continue the discussion latter, instructing her to bring him something to drink.
Thank you for accepting to conduct this interview with us Mr. King
Likewise, thank you for giving me this opportunity.
Let us start with something more personal. Tell our readers about yourself.
My name is Frederick Jones King. I was born in late 798 ABY in Ground Zero, so that would put me at the ripe age of forty in a few months. I studied at the Central University of Economics for a number of years, much like yourself if I am not mistaken, and I currently own several small time businesses in Central, alongside being a shareholder in a few of the more well regarded corporations here on Antecedent. You could say my job is, more or less, sitting at home and counting my money [Laughs]
I noticed you are using a walking cane to move around. Could you elaborate on the reasoning?
A few years back I had an . . . unfortunate accident, for the lack of better terms. My left leg got broken, along with my ribs, and was forced to spend several months in the hospital as a result of this. [REDACTED] I'd be grateful if you kept this detail out of your final draft.[REDACTED]
I also noticed you seem to be sporting some sort of cybernetics near your eyes?
Oh if only. No, I'm afraid that this are mostly just for decoration, trinkets of my past if you will.
Earlier, you mentioned you were born in Ground Zero. Could you tell us how life was until you moved up on the social hierarchy?
Rather unnerving I might say. I lived in one of the poorer sectors of the area, where various gangs and black market merchants hung around like cockroaches. My family was living day by day, doing their best to stay somewhat civil and respectable. The dregs of society, unfortunately, viewed them as fools and people they could walk over. I'm ashamed to mention I shared their view on my parents for a good part of my youth. Education wasn't something that interested me in any shape, or form, back then, so I found myself joining a street gang to find my sense of belonging. It's from them that I received this piercings, proof of being one of them if you wish. I vandalized property, sold narcotics on the street, threatened passerby's for their valuables, the likes. At one point I got sold out by the people I considered my friends, and ended up captured by the law enforcements.
So you became one of the Invisible?
Yes, and trust me when I say that there is no crueler punishment in this Galaxy. For five years I had to endure that treatment, and it took all my willpower not to bring a knife to my own throat, just for the faint hope that my parents would at least acknowledge my death if nothing else. I don't wish this kind of fate even on my most despised enemy.
But yet here you are, a rather well respected member of society. After passing through the horrors of the legal system, do you consider it an effective means of rehabilitation?
As I said before, it is the most cruel and inhumane treatment you can bestow upon somebody. But to answer your question, yes, it gets the job done. You don't realize it at first. Now that you're invisible, you think, you can get away with a lot more stuff. Shop owners can't acknowledge, nor stop you, from stealing their wares, people won't interfere if you beat somebody up on the street, you get a sense of invulnerability from it. But soon enough, the mechanical arm of the law comes to pick you up and make your life even more miserable than it already was.
Thank you for sharing this with us. Moving onto more pleasant topics, could you share with us your plans for the future?
Certainly. I'm currently looking to expand my portfolio and enter the lucrative business of weapons manufacturing. Due to the resurgence in conflict in the galaxy this past few years, showing no signs of coming to a halt any time soon, companies that provide a vast assortment of military hardware and supplies, ranging from droids to small arms, are reporting better than expected profit margins. Unfortunately, I don't posses neither the resources or the knowledge to properly start my own branch to take a cut of the profits, but that won't stop me from acquiring several stocks in the field.
Is there any company in specific that you have your eyes set on at the moment?
To be honest, yes. Wrestle Mechanics is an upstart business that operates out of our very own planet. They have the potential and desire to grow and carve a name for themselves on the galactic stage, and as far as I'm concerned, that is two thirds of what an aspiring business requires to succeed in today;s markets. As well, having their production facilities situated mainly on Antecedent, I wish to give back to the community by allowing Wrestle Mechanics to expand, and offer more positions for our own people.
Some people have claimed that you are "A wolf in sheep clothing" this past few years. Rumors of your involvement in black market deals and shady operations have surfaced around the holonet and the mainstream press. Would you mind addressing these concerns?
People will believe what they want I'm afraid. Scandal and allegations of corruptions are far more juicy stories than deeds of service to the community. The average person doesn't care what you did for their friends or family in the past, they only care about what you did for them in the past five minutes, and if the answer is nothing, they will care about whatever they can get their hands on that will discredit you and bring you down. They don't want others to succeed, they only want you to be down in the slums with them.
Please answer the question properly Mr. King.
No, I am not involved in any illegal activities. I lived through a period of Invisibility, what makes you fathom I will ever want to relieve those days of torture? I admit, I was a scoundrel in my youth, but I am a changed man nowadays, that only wishes to make a fair living. If my words are not enough to convince you, then I sincerely hope my past deeds this few years are enough proof of my innocence.
Moving on, what advice would you give to our would be entrepreneurs to succeed?
As I mentioned before, an actual desire to succeed is one of the things you need, alongside with perfect timing to tap into a growing market, that I called potential earlier on. The final thing one needs is either a lot of perseverance, or a lot of money. If you got the willpower to get back on your feet every time you fail, and learn something from the experience, you will eventually succeed. Likewise, if you got enough money, you will always be able to learn something from your failed endeavors. If you have both, well, we can safely say you won the lottery of life.
Thank you for your time Mr. King.