Tik, tik, tik.
Waking up to getting tiny little pebbles thrown at my forehead is just a refreshing way to wake up after a pretty traumatic situation. Then opening your eyes to see a stranger sitting in a chair, grabbing the pebbles from a tiny bowl on an end table, flicking them at my head wasn’t my average waking up routine. The look on her face was just as serious as my late groupie friend. R.I.P.
As I began to inspect this young woman, I became more and more confused. This couldn’t have been the same person that apparently rescued me. Something was definitely off, I just had no idea what. Or, I was just delirious from almost dying and had no idea what I was talking about.
This girl had dark, medium length hair, and skin to match. Her eyes were big and brown. She had tattoos scattered all over herself, excluding the main part of her face. If I had to choose one word to describe this woman it would be tough.
“Oh good, you’re awake.”
Her voice had a slightly playful tone to it. Not the good kind of playful. More like a predator playing with it’s prey type of playful. Something told me it wouldn’t be too wise to mess with this one.
I was laying on an uncomfortable bed, in what appeared to be a small bedroom. As I sat up I noticed my wrists and ankles were cuffed. Big surprise. Then I made an unwise move, thinking I could charm my way out of this situation.
“What’s your name?”
“That’s cute you think you get to ask the questions in this scenario.”
“Come on, whatever this is, we can work something out.”
Then I had the bright idea to stand up. This girl was fast. She got up and kicked me in the gut so hard I don’t think I would ever feel joy again. Gasping for air, I fell back onto the bed. I then heard the last name I wanted to hear.
“Kane sends his regards.”
Damn. Kane may or may not be the top boss on Torin, if you catch my drift. By that I mean he definitely is. I know what you all are thinking. That I probably should stop messing with the wrong crowd. Or, you’re probably just thinking this Ez guy sucks at making life decisions. You’re probably right.
I’m going to try and defend myself here. I knew if I could get enough chips for the right equipment, I could easily snatch and sell enough product to get off this tin rock. So, I went to Kane. I heard enough off the streets that this guy was the real deal and he could get me these chips.
Also, I forgot to mention this Kane guy is very high up in the Trade. The Trade is a universal group of individuals for hire. These individuals will do any type of job from moving freight from one place to another, or kill their own mother for the right price. Why not just cut out the middleman, and find these random jobs yourself you ask? Ugh because if it was that easy everyone would just be a freelancer. If you get in good with the Trade, you will never be out of work. The Trade has the best Intel and resources you could ask for.
After a couple years of trying to get a meeting with Kane, or really anyone in the Trade for that matter, I finally got that meeting I wanted for so long. It’s true what people say, be careful what you wish for. Here is a fun fact for you, I didn’t even get to meet this famous Kane. I got a lackey to set up a probationary period for me, and did I forget to mention a pretty hefty loan.
To help pay off this loan, my first task was to bring the Trade a very expensive zipper bike. Once my debt was repaid I then would be considered by the Trade. Now that I think about it actually, I can’t even remember the lackies name. He also kindly informed me if I fled or didn’t hold up my end of the bargain I would be terminated. Something told me he wasn’t talking about being laid off.
How else did you expect me to get my decoder, transmitter, swelter blade, ECT? Beggars can’t be choosers. I saw this as my best option to get out of Torin. So, to sum up my current situation, I had my shot, and I blew it. Apparently, they also had me being watched so they already knew my word was no good.
I was still trying to recover from the stomach kick of death. Charming my way out of this one was definitely not in my cards. Normally, talking my way into and out of situations was sort of my specialty. Too bad for me this lady’s specialty was bringing my head to Kane.
“You should wise up and stay down.”
Luckily for me, I don’t think I could stand up even if I tried. Hopefully sitting on the bed was allowed.
“So Mr. Ezra, please tell me that was not your plan to get that zipper bike.”
“Please, call me Ez, and it seemed like a sure thing at the time.”
The look on her face was completely flabbergasted. I should really think before I open my dumb mouth. Was that really the best I could come up with? If she wasn’t going to put a hole between my eyes, she definitely was after that brilliant response. Come on Ez, get your head in the game.
“Right, Ez. How do you expect to pay Kane and the Trade back, Mr. Ez?”
Her tone had changed, to as if she were talking to someone who was a little slow upstairs.
“I will do whatever Kane and the Trade want me to do. Look, I can be a lot of help.”
“Let me stop you right there Ez. First off, your skills are trash. From what I saw, you have no real idea what you are doing. You are just a kid that has no options, and you think you can handle this kind of life? Looks to me that you are extremely lucky to even be alive.”
Wow. Not gonna lie here, that hit my ego hard. Maybe she was right. I am too inexperienced for these types of jobs. I think I’m special and not like every other homeless person from the streets of Torin. Or, maybe I am just street trash.
However, one thing that I know I am is tough. My parents taught me to never stop fighting. To never give up. That is exactly what I’m going to do until my last breath.
“Just give me another job or something and I will make it up to Kane and the Trade. I can make this right.”
“Do you think this is how this works? If you can’t pay off your debt, and can’t show the trade that you are a worthy partner, then you have two options. Option one, you find a way to get a hell of a lot of chips. Option two, you’re dead. So what’s it going to be?”
My mind immediately began racing. I had no idea what to say to get myself out of this one. There was no way I could get my hands on that many chips. At least Grady made it out alive. He never really was sold on my idea to steal that zipper.
Wait a second, Grady. Grady… I got it! If I played this right, I might walk out of here alive after all. Maybe. I couldn’t help the tiny smirk starting to form on my face.
“What if I told you I could get a top of the line freighter.”
“Excuse me, what was that?”
“My name, you can call me Emry.”
To be continued…