7. Police Officer
"He's got a restraining order against him from an ex-wife four years ago, and a prior for possession back in '99 that he pled down to a 'disturbing the peace' misdemeanor. Not someone I'd consider a major threat, but I'd keep a close eye on this guy."
Though most of us live ensconced in a bubble of relative safety, the jungle is never far from home and law enforcement officers who stand at the thin blue line are the ones charged with keeping that jungle at bay. For all our illusion of personal safety, the demographic reality is that about one in seven of us will be a victim of crime during our lifetime.
To be sure, the first step is to educate yourself about self-protection: defensive-driving, environmental awareness and martial-arts/firearms training. Beyond that, it still pays to have an ally who wears a badge for a living.
Like any organization, your local constable will have its own set of priorities, and while your concern about your teenage daughter and her dope-dealing, thuggish new 'friend' is of paramount importance to you, it may rank very low in the precinct that ostensibly exists to 'serve and protect' your neighborhood.
Perhaps a former ex-lover is leaving vaguely-threatening messages from pay-phones to your home line, and your repeated requests for police intervention is shuffled to the bottom of their priority queue.
Wouldn't it be nice to have the ear of an sympathetic officer of the law?
8. The Wolf/The Cleaner
"I can take care of your problem. If anyone asks, this conversation never happened, and we've never met. Are we clear?"
"It's hot - military from the looks of it, though it's definitely not Israeli, despite the casing."
Most problems in life can be solved through diplomacy and negotiations. Very rarely, we face intractable challenges and formidable adversaries can only be satisfactorily resolved through more ... well, extralegal means.
This is a territory where the rules and conventions of civilization end, and you enter the stark and unforgiving wasteland where the Wolf makes his den.
The defining characteristic of the Wolf is his encyclopedic knowledge of crime and criminality. He has intimate knowledge of the blind spots of police and criminals alike, and knows how to dance between the raindrops of law enforcement and outlaws without getting wet.
The Wolf is not somebody you summon casually - his methods, like his personality, are harsh, ruthless and brutal.
Climb high enough in the world and (even in spite of your best efforts to avoid unnecessary conflicts) you will accumulate enemies who despise you for nothing more than your success.
Fortunately, most enemies are minor threats that can be safely ignored, but given the reality of the Vandal's Utility Function, you have to accept the fact that there exists those who are willing and determined to expend whatever resources are at their command to see you fall.
As an upstanding citizen, you cannot be seen directly fighting with jackals - it is unseemly and undignified. Indeed, open warfare legitimizes their presence and may embolden a minor jackal to become a major threat to you, your family and your businesses.
A discreet call to The Wolf can spare you decades of agony should the occasion arise. Chances are, you may never acquire the sort of antagonist that would require the services of a Wolf. But as the saying (regarding defensive firearms) goes - it's better to have one and not need it, than to need one and not have it.
To be continued ...