Articles - ArticlesPart Three
January 1st, 29843
Walking up the spiral stairs, Oscar knows he's trapped. There was no way to repay Joss and because of his reputation as being a straight arrow he couldn't find a loan shark willing to do business with him.
He felt his legs heavier, with the weight of the world on his shoulders. He still could not believe he had lost. "God damn corporate aces!" he thought.
An hour earlier his bookie had called him, he wanted to meet him. Without a doubt to ask for the money. All he could put together was 50 million, asking long time friends Juan and Franco for a loan. He had lied to them, telling them he was buying an expensive piece of jewelry for Jennifer as an anniversary present.
It was a good thing the Robles brothers didn't keep track of such things, or they would've known that his wedding anniversary had passed a few months ago. He felt bad that he had deceived his good friends and fellow officers, he'd have to see their faces every working day knowing he had lied to them.
Sitting down at the bar, drinking a Plumbo beer was Joss. Next to him were two large atroxes. "Probably his enforcers" he told himself.
This wasn't looking good, perhaps walking out now and thinking of other alternatives would be the best.
"Ah, Oscar my man!" Joss said as he waved Oscar to come over. Too late to walk away now.
With the slight flick of his index finger Joss made clear who was in charge. The bartender nodded and headed for the stairs, while the atroxes moved away, still within sight but not close enough to hear their boss' business.
"Alright Os, I've been a patient man; I even gave you an extension, something I rarely do. I got a reputation to uphold, if people hear I let someone off without paying me, then others will think they can do the same. You're not the only one who got screwed that night, that kid cleaned out some of my regulars and now they won't come for a while, which means less profits for me. Now, show me the money."
"Joss, you know I'm good for it, I need some more time."
Slowly drinking his beer, the crime lord gave his look of disappointment, shaking his head and sighing.
"Oh man, I was hoping you wouldn't do this." He pulls out a multifunction analysis device out of the front pocket of his jacket and slightly waves it.
"I've checked you out Mr. Reyes. I know where you live, I know who you work with, when you're home and when you're not. I even know about your lovely wife and the quite illegal plants she is growing outside your place, among other more personal details of your life."
At the mention of Jennifer he almost decides to lunge at him, but that would only make things worse. He know that it would be best to keep a cool head or he may end up dead somewhere in the outzone.
"She doesn't know, does she?quot;
"No, and I want to keep it that way. Is there anything I can do to..." he hesitates.
"Here it comes" Joss thinks.
"To... work something out?quot;
There it is, he's crossed the line.
"Well, since you put it that way. Yes, there is. I have a few... let's say ongoing deals with some clients across the border, if you know what I mean."
He knew, the clans. For a moment he closes his eyes, thinking of the many years of service, loyalty and hard work for Omni-Tek. Then for a split second he visualizes Jennifer, his beloved... mourning his death, then a second later he sees himself mourning her death. His eyes open in shock.
"You alright?quot; asks Joss.
"Yes, I'm fine. Can I get something to drink?quot; he replies, trying to sound calm.
Standing up Joss goes behind the bar and begins to mix a cocktail.
"I'll make you my Ross special, it never fails to relax my business associates".
Business associate was a fancy way to say accomplice, Oscar knew he had already broken several corporal laws, and now agreeing to do anything with the clans... it meant life imprisonment with no chance of parole. Even if he walked away right now, the punishment would be the same, intent is the same as having done the deed in the eyes of the corporation. He knew it.
The glass with the small decorative umbrella and the olive floating on the cocktail sat in front of him; he took it and drank it all in one shot.
His elbows on the bar, Joss leans forward. "Now that we're on the same page Os, let's make things clear. You owe me a very large amount of money, every day you don't pay me the interest increases the amount. We both know that is how a loan of this kind works, you're 'Pol and knew well the consequences, right?quot;
He couldn't say a word, all he could do was nod.
"Good. As of today you work for me, every job you do will decrease the amount owed. If all goes well in a few months this will just be a memory, you'll be free of the debt and I will have recovered the money I gave you. Don't expect me to lend you a single credit after we're done, no offense Os but I won't make the same mistake twice, you have burned this bridge."
Nodding again, Oscar feels the effects of the cocktail; his bookie was quite right about it, it was relaxing him, making him a bit mellow, more... agreeable.
"First we need something to offer, and I have a good idea where to start Os" he said with a grin.
January 2nd, 29843
Rome District, Omni-Pol Building
Office 42, Internal Security Division
Sergeant Nerkath is running his daily security checks on all Omni-Pol systems from his office. He hated this specific part of the job, having to sit behind a desk for an hour at the start of his shift when he'd much rather hit the streets and bash some heads instead.
It couldn't be helped, it was a requirement of his position. He had been thrilled when he had been promoted to Sergeant within his division last year, then less than so when he was given the additional work involved.
He now had his own squad to lead, but the first and last hour of work were tedious. Running security checks should have been a fully automated system, and most was, but protocols which were as old as the building itself required a living employee to verify the results visually.
Ten more minutes of this and he'd go to the basement to meet his squad, run the regular gear check, do the daily briefing and catch some bad guys with their hands in the cookie jar.
That aspect of his job, he loved. Bringing in criminals was his passion, particularly when they resisted arrest and he was allowed to use full force. Sending them into prison on a stretcher had made him a solid reputation within Omni-Pol which helped him gain recognition faster than others.
He liked his office, it beat just having a locker to store clothes. The view was stunning from his window even though he was in the lower levels of the building.
As he was looking out and enjoying the reflection of the suns on the beautiful omni architecture a small beep got his attention.
Turning to his holo screen he winced as he noted a blinking red line, an anomaly had been detected in one of the core databases.
"Hmm, same thing happened last week and it was a damn fried leet who had chewed through some cables at one of our outposts. Probably the same thing, I'll just notify the maintenance crew to do a systems check on their side and let them handle it." he thought.
He would send a grid-mail to the head of maintenance; he didn't want to deal with him again since he was a talker and knew if he got him on the comm, chances were that he'd be stuck speaking with him a lot longer than required.
The security check report came up on his screen as soon as he was finish composing the letter. Perfect timing, nothing besides that one anomaly. He clicked on the "send" icon for the grid-mail, then set his office system to "Out of Office, on duty" and walked out of the room.
Smiling, he headed for the elevator, time for join his squad. Open season on criminals, oh yeah, the hunt was on.
*=Rubi-Ka Standard Time, same as GMT in real time.
Thanks to all the Rimor roleplayers who have agreed to appear in this mini-series. Everything which is done by their characters has been approved by the players behind them.
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