The more sand has escaped from the hourglass of our life, the clearer we should see through it.
- Niccolo Machiavelli.
A (mis) interpretation:
Side Story 1: The Prisoner.
An Ace is a prestigious "card" or rank assigned to an individual within the Four Families whom serves as chief advisor, or consigliere. He is not officially part of the hierarchy of a Family, but plays one of the most important roles. The Ace is traditionally bestowed upon the close trusted friend and confidant of the K of a Family. His primary function is serving as an advisor to the boss whom he could summon for strategic information and sound advice. The consigliere is meant to offer unbiased information based on what he sees as best for the Family. He’s not supposed to factor emotional concerns, such as retaliation and blood feuds, into his decisions. Unlike an underboss such as the J of a Family, the consigliere is not required to be a direct relative of the boss. Instead, he is chosen solely for his abilities and the amount of knowledge he possesses. The Ace would accompanying the boss of a Family to important meetings, involving in plans or schemes prior to being approved and ensuring its implementation, as well as acting as chief liaison with a Family's associates and business partners. In terms of ranking, the Ace is often seen as an equal of the King but with less authority.
Saxon was a former Ace of Spades. He was a childhood friend of the K of Spades. A lawyer in training, Saxon's contribution to the rise of the Spades Family was undisputed. The K of Spades appreciated Saxon very much, both having worked hand in hand to built the Spades Family into powerful and influential organised criminal organisation.
However, wealth often led to greed and ambition. As time went by, Saxon wanted more. When he informed the K of Spades that he would set up a separate organisation from the Spades Family, effectively crossing the line and rules. The K of Spades was furious and tried to reason with Saxon whom refused to back down. The K of Spades quietly retaliated. Saxon was framed and setup, resulting in imprisonment. The time required to serve out the sentence was equal to death sentence as Saxon was an old man. Those whom sided with Saxon were all killed. The K of Spades, however, against his usual nature and maybe due to their former childhood ties and friendship, as well as Saxon's contributions, spared Saxon's family to live but had them banished from the City, against the protest of others. Nevertheless, Saxon was told that his family was executed in the purge after the power struggle. The K of Spades obviously knew that by sparring the offspring of Saxon, the child might grow up to seek retribution, for life is a flat circle. Yet, the K of Spades seemed ready to accept any outcome from the decision.
In the prison, the K of Spades ensured that Saxon was protected and treated properly. But Saxon's heart was twisted by bitterness and hatred even though he accepted his fate and defeat. Saxon would never forgave the boss of the Spades Family. Through the years, he began to scheme and look for opportunity to exact his revenge. It didn't matter if he would loose his life. For there was nothing else to loose.
The opportunity Saxon yearned for came when he received an unexpected visit from an individual whom he sensed he knew from before. Saxon's intuition was correct when the visitor introduced himself as Alger, the former associate of the Spades Family and now a 2 of Diamonds. The wizened Saxon could see Alger's true intention and real nature, and was glad as there was nothing much better than to see the collapse of the Spades Family. He agreed to help Alger, but cunningly chose only to disclose selective information for him. Saxon may be bitter but not trustful of any one to disclosure vital information un-necessarily. For information is still, after all, one of the ultimate bargaining chips. And Saxon knew that's what kept him alive and still of use in the eyes of all the Four Families.
The next day, a young, smartly dressed man in suit visited Saxon. 'Looking good old man,' the man asked. 'Never been better. And thanks to the betrayer. The fool was sentimental. That is a weakness. Remember that,' replied Saxon. 'I think he appreciated you. Otherwise you wouldn't be the king of the prison,' said the man. 'Hush. Never let emotions get into the path to power, ' Saxon replied quietly, slowly looking around the security guards and cameras. 'Did the pretender to the throne approach you?' asked Saxon. 'Yeah. Disturbing and one mean son of a bitch. I said exactly what you asked me to say. He has doubts but are going along our plans thus far. I am careful of him. Things are going to be intense from now on. And the Knave has left,' replied the man. 'As I predicted. Now, I want you to locate and arrange a meeting between the Knave and myself,' said Saxon as he rolled up his sleeves on each arm, tattooed with a pistol with the words, "Courage and luck" and a hourglass with the words, "Beginning and end", looking at it. 'A dangerous game we're playing here. But I like it. Now I gotta go. I'll be seeing you around,' said the man. 'I'll be sending out words for you when it is time. Send my regards to your mom. And congratulation for being promoted to a Diamond Ace,' said Saxon with a wink. 'You know it runs in the family, old man,' replied the man. The security guard signalled that visitation time was over. Saxon gave him a middle finger, which has a tattoo of a chess piece. As he walked back towards his cell, Saxon seemed calm but inside he was so excited that he couldn't sleep. He hadn't felt so good in years since the time he was betrayed by the K of Spades. The downfall of the K of Spades shall be completed and absolute.
As per previous post on the STGCC 2014 (Singapore Toy, Game and Comic-Con 2014) exclusive Spade J, Saxon was an exclusive for CICF 2014 visitors (China International Comic Fair 2014). I wasn't keen on Saxon initially as it was not in my radar of purchase but since the term by xl-shop was to purchase as a set to get the retail prices instead of flippers' pricing, so I have no complain. But I've grown to like this figure, based on the supposedly Ed Harris, in prison suit and a pair of hand and leg cuffs in metal. It is being marketed as a "side story" to the primary line. The accessories are extremely minimal. The prisoner's number is 20141001, of which some said to represent the date of the exhibition, but I am not sure. I read online that the numbers may peel off, so I am cautious about it. The ankle joints were initially tight but in my foolishness, I removed both legs to slot in the cuffs as initially I could not pry it open, resulting in subsequent looseness at the ankle now. But at least it could be posed easier compared the existing characters in hand. It comes with a comic, like Diamond 3, with styles grounded in Mike Mignola's works and Frank Miller's Sin City.