Kross - The New York Files
Skinny Italian American
Gino was the unwanted son of an Italian whore who worked the docks. Nobody knows who his father is. Nobody wanted a pregnant whore, so he was born into poverty and starvation. Within a year he was taken into the state welfare system.
A weak sickly child, he was eventually fostered to an Italian family, the Fracettis, in Lower Manhattan. He grew up in a relatively stable family environment. However the local kids knew of his background. Bastard was one of the better names they used. It didn’t help that he was a bright kid at school.
Then the beatings started. Being a puny kid, Geno soon learned to avoid trouble and to run and hide. He always was good at hiding.
Gino developed a liking for fine art. One of the places the other kids didn’t go was to the museums, they thought them boring. Gino spent many a weekend wandering through the halls and soon knew a Renoir from a Rembrandt.
Geno was brought up a good Catholic and still respects the faith. But soon he saw the injustices in the world, not the least his own, and his faith faltered. How could a good God leave such misery unchecked? How could the bad people thrive so?
One day in his early teens, Geno was cornered by the other kids and they set upon him. In anger Geno hit out and broke one of the bully’s arms with a single strike. The fallout was not that bad. His foster father decided on discipline to sort him out. The discipline of the Dojo. He felt that the bullies deserved all they had coming, but Geno must learn to control his temper. So he enrolled him in a Ju-Jitsu school.
Surprisingly Geno flourished at Ju-Jitsu and rapidly rose through the grades. He was still a thin weak adolescent but when he concentrated he could inflict serious damage. The instructor always used him to break boards at any displays the club put on. The bullies left him alone after that, and the insults stopped as well.
On his 16th birthday the welfare checks started to shrink and when he was 17 his foster family set him up with a nice room and landlady and got him a job delivering Pizza for Dominos. Even though Geno got good grades at school, there was no money to send him to college.
His landlady, Mrs Bertolli, or “Mrs B” as Geno called her, looked out for him and provided him a stable home to return to after his shift. He visits his foster family once a week for tea, for there is nothing more important than family.
Geno spent a year delivering Pizzas. During this time he began to realise there was something special about him. Like the times when he fought off muggers who wanted to steal the cash for the pizzas. Other times when he was chased by some of the mid-town gangs and hid. Hid in a really bad hiding place and yet they ran on past.
He discovered that when he concentrated really hard he could do what he wanted to. His lack of strength did not matter.
For the next couple of years he existed on his wages from Dominos. With his rent and Dojo fees he doesn’t have a lot of money for himself and still spends time in the museums. Recently he has become an instructor at the Dojo which has eased his money worries a little. He likes to help the students meditate before and after training as this helps with their lessons, and in life.
Then, shortly after his 20th birthday his world completely changed.