Monday, November 10, 2008


"So you've found him?"
"Yes. Get my fee ready."
"It's ready. What's your ETA?"
"Half an hour."
"I'll be waiting."

The hologram flickers off and I lean back on my chair. That was faster than expected. His effectiveness is certainly at par with his reputation. Still.. Better safe than sorry. I reopen NeoCom.

"Hey! How's business?"
"Decent. Say.. Would you happen to have any associates in Sasta who would be interesed in a bit of income?
"Certainly. Expecting trouble?"
"I'm expecting a delivery. The contract is straightforward enough.. but I like to keep my options open."
"A babysitting job?"
"Nothing of that sort. They don't even need to accompany me. If all goes well, your associates will get paid for sitting in one of the local establishments. But I expect them to be able to reach my office within two minutes."
"Done and done."
"Thank you."

With the protection sorted out, there's still time to kill before the meeting. The blueprints have returned from replication, but the distance to the factory is small enough to be done personally. The existing manufacturing jobs are on schedule.. and the previous batch is selling quite well. It seems that I'll recoup my initial investment sooner than expected. There's still the issue of sorting out the next shipment for my associates..
"One Jonathan Parker, safe and sound."
"Hi boss!", he quips. I would have expected him to be grumpy or at least hung over.
"Mr. Parker, you're uncharacteristically cheery for the occasion. Could you wait at the antechamber, please?"
"Sure! What's my next assignment?"
"We'll discuss that later."

I could recognize those symptoms anytime. I release the deadman's switch I set up in NeoCom..

"I'm surprised by your abilities. Not only did you bring him back, but he seems motivated as well."
"All in the service, now, about my fee.."
"It's ready. But first the merchandise needs to be checked. Is there anything I should know about?
"I did replenish his Vitoc dose and.."
"He was not under the influence of Vitoc before."
"Oh. Consider it a bonus, then."
"Unfortunately, your contract stipulated that he be returned safely and unharmed. "
"Talk to your Holder. I'm sure he'll understand."
"Your Holder. I'm sure he's put you under the influence of Vitoc as well."
"I did not make that contract on behalf of anyone."

The door opens and my associates step in.

"Gentlemen, would you be so kind and demonstrate why forcibly infecting someone with Vitoc is a bad idea.."
"Wait! I can supply you with Vitoc! I was doing you a favor!", he yells while trying to hold on to the door frame.
"That won't be necessary. Good day."

Of course, he was right. I open NeoCom.

"Miss Ashley, do you still have the items recovered from that mission last week?"
 "The vials? Yes, I have those."
"I have found a buyer."

Naturally, that small supply confiscated from an Amarrian transport won't sustain him forever. But now I won't have to bear the externalities from his lifestyle.

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