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The Challenge
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Benito Luciano
Character information
  1. Alias
  2. Mental
  3. Morale
  4. Date of birth
    1954-12-15 (68 years old)
  5. Place of birth
    Brooklyn, New York
  6. Nationality
    Italian American
  7. Ethnicity
  8. Languages
  9. Family
    Leo Luciano-Apria (Nephew), Isabella Luciano-Apria (Sister) [Deceased], Gianno Luciano (Brother) [Deceased], Luca Beradino (Brother)
  10. Religion


  1. Height
    180 cm
  2. Weight
    83 kg
  3. Build
  4. Hair
    Thinning grey
  5. Eyes
  6. Alignment
    Chaotic Neutral
  7. Features
    An unsmiling face atop an intense squint, splashed with signs of aging and a slightly scruff beard. New York English accent. Compulsion towards alcohol and nicotine. Rough cough when he smokes. The smell of cigarettes overpowers the booze on his breath. Will sometimes stumble while he walks if proceeded by enough booze.
  8. Equipment
    Almost indefinitely seen sporting a flat cap, complemented by casual clothes and comfortable tennis shoes. Covers his face when talking to strangers to avoid contamination. Wears suits on business occasions.
  9. Occupation


Chapter I: A Rough Start




Conceived in Scarlino, Italy, Benito Gennaro Luciano's parents immigrated to the United States in 1953 to escape persecution from a Sicilian organized crime family after they could not make a racket payment. They settled in a quaint little apartment in Brooklyn, New York. Shortly thereafter. His father, Marco, found work as a mechanic and his mother, Giulia remained at home to prepare for the birth of their new child. Benito was born on December 15, 1954 at Woodhull Medical and Mental Health Center in downtown Brooklyn, and baptized at St. Ann's Catholic Church soon after.



(Hart Street, Brooklyn, New York near Benito's childhood home, circa 1961)


Benito would not be the only child to his parents for long, his brother Gianno was born two years later in October of 1956, and their sister would follow soon in 1962. They lived in a short period of tough, but relative happiness until Gianno fell ill of tuberculosis in 1963, dying at the premature age of 7, leaving the family in shambles.


Their father Marco was never the same after this. He fell into heavy alcoholism and didn't speak much to anyone in the family except to verbally berate them. He was also extremely prejudiced toward black and brown peoples, especially Mexicans, like most other Italian American of the time, something Benito would pick up on. He would lose his job soon after. Marco also began physically assaulting Benito, Giulia and Isabella. Being only ten, there was not much Benito could do in retaliation, and as such they were all forced to endure. Benito and Isabella would grow close over the years in their shared attempts to escape their life at home. In the brief, but liberating moments of quiet they would spend together they would pass the time any way they could. They formed a shared interest in the popular music of the times, becoming their salvation.



(A portrait of a young Isabella, aged 17 kept in Benito's wallet, circa 1979)


Around the age of 16, Benito had learned to endure the torment of his father, becoming seemingly unaffected. He still had to witness ritualistic beatings to Isabella, watching with intent as the blood rushed from her nose and the tears from her eyes, listening to the pleas for their father to stop. This enraged Benito, but he never developed the courage to intervene. He often played out scenarios in his head that resulted in the end of the torment. He fantasized that his father would run off with another woman or even die somehow. He would not have to dream long.


In late October, 1971 Marco Luciano would enter his vehicle incoherently wasted after a night in his favorite bar. A few minutes after leaving the parking lot he ran a red light and was t-boned on the driver's-side of his car, crushing him. He died on the scene, leaving only his considerable gambling debt to his family. 


While his mother did take on a job years earlier as a machine operator at a textile factory, this would not be enough to keep them afloat with the new knowledge of their father's debt, at 17, Benito was forced to drop out of high school his junior year to take on a job. He found work at the nearest corner store, Superette where he would earn money for his family and learn the basics of bartering.



(Superette on 5th Avenue, the bodega where Benito found work, circa 1974)


In 1975, Benito's mother had remarried to a failing stock day trader by the name of Franklin Bernadino. He moved into their apartment soon after. The two would welcome a child in the same year, born Luca DeAngelo Bernadino in 1975.



Chapter II: La Cosa Nostra




Now 21, Benito had been working at Superette for four years. It wasn't more than scrap work, but it was honest and helped to keep a roof over his mother and Isabella's head. During this time, he would learn that the store was victim to a protection racket controlled by the Genovese crime family. A soldier of the family, John "Little John" Giglio, member of the 15th Street Crew, would make stops to collect from Benito's employer, Jimmy Paprio. It was during these collections that Benito would come to befriend Giglio, who was not much older than Benito himself. Giglio became aware of Benito's money struggles and offered an opportunity to make some spare cash. He would sell stolen products that Giglio and his crew acquired through the storefront. Among these items were crates of Coca-Cola, various premium cuts of meat, and lightly expired pharmaceuticals. Benito would get a 15% cut off of all the products moved. Doing this with relative ease, Giglio Began to trust Benito with larger tasks.


In 1976, Benito would be involved in his first job for the crew. On a late September night, Benito, Giglio, and three other members of the crew were tasked with making a collection from Sergio Leville, an owner of a meat packing plant on Genovese territory. Leville had refused to make full payment to the crew for two weeks in a row. The crew approached his home under the cover of dark, breaking in through the back window with a crowbar. This alerted Leville, running down the stairs of his home with a baseball bat, only to be met by the five men. Still not backing down, he tried to swing the bat toward them, to no avail. The crew had their own crude weapons, Benito's being an old lead pipe. They charged the man, disarming him with ease. They beat Leville to a pulp, leaving him with black eyes and likely numerous broken bones, tears mixing with the blood from his face. Giglio ordered the crew to start tearing the place apart and take anything valuable. They took his TV set, radio, watches, and chains, all to be fenced later on. They left Leville in a pile of his own blood and urine, barely breathing.


Benito would quit his job at Superette later that year. He continued to run with the 15th Street Crew doing jobs roughing up debtors and those that threatened them. He picked up a smoking habit during this time. This would last until 1980, when Benito would become a made man, under the approval of Genovese boss Philip Lombardo, becoming a soldier and accepting the sacred vow of Omertà.



(Philip Lombardo, middle, pictured at the funeral of Funzi Tieri, circa 1981)


In 1981, Lombardo would step down as boss due to his deteriorating health condition. He named his successor as Vincent "Chin" Gigante. In the same year, a 27 year-old Benito would take leadership of his own crew, the Milyonne Street Crew. Under his lead he would be joined by Tony "Tone" Caccoppoli, Jimmy "Jew-Nose" Pacino, and Johnny Orega. The members gave him the nickname "Benny," a name which he would only come to allow family to use. The crew specialized in roughing up debtors and frequently took jobs to collect payment from especially stubborn racketees. They performed the odd murder-for-hire job too. To outsiders, he was involved in the meat-packing industry. Benito would come to take great pleasure in his line of work. It gave him the ability to vent his rage without hurting those he loved.


With the new promotion also came extra income. Benito never forgot about his mother, sister, and half-brother who were the reason he ever started in the life. He would spend significant portions of his earnings to the benefit of his family and their debt. He always made sure they had abundant food on the table and had access to what they wanted. He bought his mother a new 1983 Chrysler New Yorker to replace the pile of junk she drove before. He especially made sure to spoil his sister Isabella, now 17, ensuring that she always had new clothes and all the hit records. He treated his half-brother as if they were of full blood.


The next seven years would be a period of relative prosperity for the Benito, the crew, and the family as a whole. Police activity toward them was low and opportunities for money would flow free. Isabella would marry Louis Apria, another soldier of the Genovese family. Apria was a decent man to Benito's knowledge. Benito would also marry a woman named Darlene Amano, a brunette Venetian native to Queens. This would not stop him from seeing other women.


These years would come to quite a screeching stop. Come May of 1990 would mark the first of many arrests for current boss Chin, slowing of not halting the majority of large-scale money operations for years. This also put the rest of the family and its associates under close surveillance by law enforcement. Benito would come to understand this new pressure intimately.



(Front cover of newspaper detailing Genovese Boss Vincent Gigante during an arrest, circa 1990)


In March of 1996 Benito and the other members of the Milyonne Street Crew were on route to completing a routine job collecting a debt. Noam Berke, owner of a pawn shop on 18th and 3rd street outside Flatbush, Brooklyn, had been stiffing the crew for some time. Tone was in the driver's seat, Benito in the passenger's seat, and Jimmy Jew-Nose and Johnny were sitting in the back. They were all armed. They approached with their vehicle and parked the car across the street adjacent to the storefront. Before they could even exit the vehicle, multiple law enforcement officers would ambush them from the alleyways pointing guns at them demanding they exit the vehicle with their hands up. It appeared Berke had ratted. Luckily, Tone hadn't turned off the car yet, and stepped on the gas. An overwhelming amount of gunfire hurled at the vehicle. Benito and Jimmy returned suppressing fire. They would continue barreling down the streets, evading police.


Somewhere in the chaos Johnny and Tone had been struck by the gunfire. Johnny lay unresponsive, while Tony seemed only wounded minorly. The men knew they needed to get the others medical attention. Benito knew of a nearby illegal clinic run by the DiGiorno family. There was only one caveat: Benito would owe them a favor. Upon arrival, they were met by a few bodyguards, who helped carry in Johnny. Tone walked himself in with the assistance of Jimmy. Inside their expectations were subverted, when the surgeon was a young high school-aged kid named Tommy Bianci. Johnny bled out before Tommy could even start. Tone would have the bullet removed from his shoulder and given light pain medication. Thanking Tommy and the DiGiorno's for their aid, Benito became indebted to them. The remaining three of the crew reluctantly dumped the body of Johnny in the Manhattan River. They also tossed their weapons. The men split up after that point in an effort to lie low.


A month later the Brooklyn Police Department would raid Benito's home in the middle of the night. As it turned out, perhaps by a pure stroke of luck, an amateur fisherman had recovered the pistol and handed it over to police. The firearm still had a partial print of Benito's index finger on the receiver.



(Police photo of recovered unregistered M1911 with Benito's fingerprint still remaining, circa 1996)



Benito would face up to 10 years in prison for the possession of an illegal firearm under New York State law. It appeared the police did not link Benito to the shooting the month earlier, evading much heavier racketeering charges. He was booked at the Brooklyn Center Police Department and held there until his sentencing. His trial was held at Kings County Criminal Court where he was sentenced to eight years with the opportunity of parole after serving six.



(Benito, aged 41, upon arrival to the Brooklyn Center Police Department, circa 1996)


Benito was transferred to the Metropolitan Correctional Center shortly thereafter. Tone was promoted to acting leader of the Milyonne Street Crew. The next few years would prove to be mundane. Benito stayed out of trouble and attempted to keep to himself. He worked routinely at the prison laundromat and kept himself well read. He welcomed weekly visits from Isabella. She detailed her concerns about her husband and his drinking habits, but told Benito not to worry. Darlene would leave Benito in 1997, after years of unhappiness. His mother would die of a heart attack this year too. In 1998 Isabella and Louis welcomed a son into the world. Born Leo Gianno Apria-Luciano on May 13. Benito was assured by the other members of his crew that they would provide weekly for Isabella and her family while Benito served his time.


September 11, 2001 the United States becomes victim to the largest domestic terrorist attack in history. While it was a national tragedy, it was a blessing in disguise for those involved in organized crime. The entirety of the United State's efforts were allocated to thwart terrorism. Benito would be released in April of 2002 after the board of parole granted his request.


Even with the law's attention off his back, Benito was still extremely careful to not be arrested again, as he was on parole for the next five years. If he were caught again he would be given little leniency in his sentence. Plus, he had a brand new baby nephew he wanted to spend time with.


In 2005, Vincent "Chin" Gigante died in prison. Liborio "Barney" Bellomo would replace him as acting boss.



(Front cover of newspaper detailing rumors of Barney Bellomo's assent to leadership, circa 2005) 


Benito kept his distance from crime, though still collected payments from his earners in the crew, who sympathized with his position.



Chapter III: Walls Closing In




Come 2007, Benito had served his parole with no slips to his record. Later that year Isabella was diagnosed with stage II liver cancer. This frightened Benito beyond all belief. Because of this, Benito spent an abundant amount of time watching over his young nephew Leo. He would also try to spend as much time with Isabella as he could, fearing that he would lose the only true love he had left in life.



(Candid FBI photograph of Benito and Isabella on Manhattan Beach, circa 2008)


In November of 2011 Isabella's condition worsened. The cancer metastasized to her lungs, stomach and brain. She was given only months to live. On a cold winter night on January 15th, 2012, Benito stayed at her bedside at the Woodhull Medical and Mental Health Center. They reminisced about their childhood. Isabella could barely push the breath out of her mouth.


She told him she still remembered the day that Benito took her to the New York State fair, and someone had split ketchup all over his brand-new white shirt. She let out a faint chuckle. On the car ride back home Lou Christie's summer snow played on the radio. She told him it was one of the favorite days of her life. A single stray tear traced down the side of Benito's face. Isabella Apria-Luciano died hours later at the age of 50.


Isabella was buried at the Holy Cross Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York on January 20th 2012. The service was also held there. Close family and friends attended. Benito's close friends from his crew Tony "Tone" Caccoppoli and Vicnet "Vee" Demargo brought their families. His old friend John "Little John" Giglio was even spotted in attendance. A few other soldiers and captains showed their support too. The boss of the family, Barney, sent his regards but did not show due to concerns being spotted in close association with other known members of the family. Barney is only rumored to be the boss by the public.



(Candid FBI photograph of Benito attending Isabella's funeral at the Holy Cross Cemetery, circa 2012)


The years following would mark a decline in Benito's mental health. He began to drink heavily, developing a dependence on booze. His already frequent cigarette use would become more abundant.


Benito still made time for his nephew, the last bit of his sister remaining that he adored so much. Seeing Leo was one of the only things that brought Benito happiness. The two made frequent fishing trips to upstate New York. While on these trips Benito shared knowledge about life and keeping himself safe on the streets. He regularly asked about his performance in school, stressing that he should stick with it and go on to achieve a college education. Leo would not know about Benito's involvement with the Genovese family, all he knew was that he spent some time in prison years ago. To Leo's knowledge Benito was in the meat-packing industry.


In late August of 2015, on one of these routine trips, a 17 year-old Leo and a 61 year-old Benito shared a weekend on Wolf Lake, an hour or so from the city. The kid was in the process to applying to colleges. Benito couldn't have been more proud that his nephew was able to focus on his education, and not be forced to spend his formidable years stressing over the wellbeing of his family.


Later into the day Leo had something to admit to Benito. His father's drinking problems had worsened when Leo was around five, and recalled instances of Louie becoming physically violent toward Isabella, throwing things at her and smacking her around. The light smile on Benito's face turned stone cold. His eyes narrowed with intent on the boy. Apparently Isabella had told Leo to never tell anyone about the beatings, especially Benito. To Leo, Benito was a harmless and loving man, and said he never understood why she was so intent on keeping it a secret from him. Benito was nearly dead quiet the rest of the day. 


At the end of the trip, Benito was instructed to drop Leo off at a friend's house to spend the night. Once arrived, he pulled off to the side of the street adjacent to the friend's house in his 1991 Jeep Cherokee. They said their goodbyes and before Leo could step out of the vehicle Benito grabbed Leo's shoulder to stop him. Benito told him to always remember what mattered, family. Leo brushed this off as another one of his uncle's tirades. They shared a brief embrace and he walked away from the vehicle.


Late in the night, Benito immediately requested a meeting with Barney. Louie Apria was a made man after all, Benito would need approval from the Don in order to kill Louie. Unable to meet with Barney formally due to continued concerns over being spotted with known members of the family. Instead, he would meet with underboss Venero Frank "Benny Eggs" Mangano in his stead. Benito's request to enact justice was denied on the grounds of Louie Apria being too valuable of an asset and earner for the family. His blood boiled. He stormed out of the meeting in disbelief. His family had turned their backs on him for over money.


But Benito made a decision all those years ago to never let his sister be harmed again, and he had failed. He trusted Louie, and he betrayed him. Enveloped by rage, Benito floored it to the Genovese's contact that specialized in clean weapons with missing serial numbers. He purchased a subcompact Glock-26 chambered in 9mm. He tucked the firearm in his pants behind his back and under his tracksuit. The fence didn't ask questions.


Benito sped to Apria's suburban home, parking a few blocks away. It was around three in the morning at the time. He would approach the house with killer intent. While in reality only a few minutes walk, it would feel like days to him. With each step his face twisted more and more. He was enraged. When Benito reached Louie's front door, he knocked calmly, as to not alert the man. Apria met him at the door a few minutes later, cautious, until he saw it was Benny. Apria invited him in, turning around and walking into his house, making his way to the living room. Benito would follow, closing the door behind him. With his back still turned Apria inquired as to the reason his brother-in-law decided to visit so late. Turning around, he was met by Benito aiming the pistol with one hand at him. They both stared at each other for what felt like hours.


Benito's eyes made an intent squint, his slow, but deep breaths piercing the silence in the home. Apria tried to utter a sentence but before he could finish a second word Benito dumped all ten rounds of the magazine into him, continuing to pull the trigger even after the slide locked back. Apria lay on the floor gargling on his own blood. Benito took four steps forward, standing over the man. There was a haunting look of puzzlement and confusion on Apria's face as the two men continued staring at each other. It took about 30 more seconds for Apria's to take five struggling breaths eyes to finally stare past his assailant as the life left his body. Benito studied the way the blood pooled under the corpse, and the way the blood delicately coursed from his mouth, as well the abundant fresh crevices scattered around his frame. 


The man used a towel he grabbed from the kitchen to thoroughly wipe the weapon clean and the doorknob of fingerprints, in an effort to thwart police. He dropped the firearm where he stood. Law enforcement was the least of his worries, as he was certain the family would link him to Louie Apria's murder. He was almost certain that a bounty would be placed upon his head to follow suit.


Benito carefully drove back to his inner-city apartment, obeying every stop sign and speed marking. He carefully packed a duffle bag with spare clothes, toiletries, important documentation, cigarettes, whiskey, and $25,000 cash that was stashed in a ceiling duct. He entered his car, tossing the phone out of the window. With the sun rising peeking over the horizon, he loaded the bag and took to I-90 due north.



Chapter IV: A Man on the Run




By late 2015, Benito had been hiding out in Waskaganish, Quebec for a few months. It was a quaint town on the southernmost tip of James Bay. He rented a house on the outskirts of town, paying cash to his landlord. He would come to admire the place. The people were kind, and the landscape immaculate. He dreamed of settling down there, though he knew these would have to remain fantasies, for he was not safe yet. He cautiously rode out the winter, with his eyes set on Norway, a place he had always wanted to visit.



(Benito's international passport he used to travel into Quebec and Norway, kept in his wallet, circa 2011)


In 2016 Benito sold his Cherokee to a local man for $2,600, money which went directly toward a ride to Norway. He paid cash to the captain of a cargo ship to allow for him to stowaway in an empty cargo container. A few days later, the ship arrived in the harbor of Sandefjord, Norway.


The next few years were relatively uneventful. Benito would enjoy a quasi-retirement, sightseeing the rich landscapes and experiencing the rich culture. He made his way North, finally settling down in Burfjord, Norway on the near the northern coast. In late 2018 Benito started renting a small one-story house in the town. He lived among the locals for a few months, frequenting the local liquor store for more booze and cigarettes. He slew into an even deeper depression than he had ever been in before. Come 2019, news outlets began reporting troubling information of a highly contagious virus ravaging the world.



Chapter V: AVM-FLA-19



Benito, already keeping to himself due to the nature of his travel to Norway, was launched into a whole new world, but also gave him opportunity for a new start. In December of 2022, Benito heard rumors of a wise-guy of a surgeon with a Brooklyn accent who surfaced in a city called Nyheim, just a few weeks northeast. He packed up what he could and headed out.



Character Traits: Sly, charismatic, caring, critical, nicotine addict, alcoholic, selective, manipulative, prejudiced, calculated, stubborn



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