I look around at the small group of men. Disheveled, dirt and other offal staining our clothes and faces. I’ve never met them, but apparently they are with the Circle, which led them to my door earlier this afternoon. Apparently, I’m on some list somewhere as a safe house. Nevermind that I just do the accounts.
I’m watching them watch me as I code in, just as protocol was drilled into me.
I hang up and wait for the callback on the secure phone. I smile and ask, “Can I get you gentlemen anything? Juice or an apple?”
They just stare at me like I’m not even here.
Ugh, save me from the knuckle draggers.
The phone rings and I punch in the last code. So paranoid but most of these criminal types are. Except the cartel guys. They are mostly cheap swagger in bodies mommy didn’t hug enough.
But, the jobs the job.
I hand over the phone to their de facto leader and exit the room. It doesn’t pay to overhear these conversations…well, it doesn’t pay to be Seen to overhear. But I can hear quite well through the bugs planted around the office.
“Sir, they took the transhipment point down. A half dozen of us only made it out because they were paying more attention to the product rather than looking for hidey holes,” Mr tough guy says.
I can hear some response but nothing specific.
Mr Tough guy’s starts yelling, “No sir. NO! These guys were military, it wasn’t cops. They didn’t ask for surrender, they just started killing us. NO! This Was the only option. The last two safe houses had ambush teams waiting. We barely made it out alive. We lost half the survivors just making it here.”
I look over to the ambush team waiting at the other entrance and raise my glass of chilled peach juice to them. It’s so nice to work with professionals. People who know that it’s just business and are willing to accept the realities. Plus, who turns down half a million dollars for 10 minutes work?
“Yes, Sir. Yeah, all good. We’ll be at hanger 12 in 2 hours.”
As soon as he hangs up, the ambush team busts down my mahogany doors and swarms my ex-employers.
The CKD(Chief Knuckle Dragger) looks at me like I shot his puppy. I just smile and shrug. And he smiles back.
What’s that ringing? I look at my new employer and they are holding a silenced pistol on me, why?!
“No one who ever profits from this. Orders are orders.”
I seem to be sitting down. How did I get here?
My juice has spilled….that’s gonna stain…
I don’t remember adding strawberries to the mix….