So, big shocker here. Grady and myself came up with no plans or ideas on how to get these codes. Try as we might all day, we came up with nothing. Admittedly, the beers in the morning probably didn’t help our cause.
What we did do was rent us a zip to follow Alden, just in case he didn’t go to his usual watering hole. Sure enough like everyone else on Torin, he was on his way to drink away his sorrows. Lucky for us Grady and myself got that out of the way this morning.
This joint was definitely a lot nicer than the ones around the LowLands. Misty Falls Pub was the name of this particular joint. Real classy. Not the best place to shake someone down.
As we were walking up to the pub Grady said,”well this is it Ez, wish we had at least some sort of time to prepare better for something like this.
“Let’s just focus on the task at hand. We go in there, we order some drinks, and we wait.
The inside of this joint was just as nice as the outside. Newly furnished, and well taken care of. Grady and myself found a spot near the back where we could perfectly watch Alden from a safe distance. Alden was a tall, thin, bald man. He was on the older side I’d say, and now that I got a closer look at him, Alden had a pointy grey goatee. He was surrounded with what appeared to be coworkers and friends.
As the night progressed, Alden and his peers were putting down more and more drinks. Also as the night progressed, Grady and I continued to have no real clue what we were gonna do. I’m going to have to get real here guys and gals. I was definitely feeling embarrassed and defeated. All I have ever done with my life was do whatever I could to get out of Torin. I had been through too much to go out like this. If I was going to go out like this, I was going out fighting.
Alden got up and started heading towards the restrooms. Before I even knew what I was doing, I got up myself. I began to follow Alden. Grady was muttering something but I was too focused on Alden to hear what he was saying. In no time at all I was on his heels. Beyond Alden and the restrooms was an exit to what could only be a back alley for all the garbage of all the businesses around here. I hoped so anyways.
I grabbed Alden and jammed old reliable Andy on his lower back. “Say anything and I will blow a hole through your stomach. We are going out back.”
I sternly walked Alden over towards the exit, ready for anything to happen. As I opened the door to the back alley, I pushed Alden through it and I followed. I pointed my pistol straight at Alden’s face. Just as I was about to speak, Grady came rushing out of the pub as well.
“What are you doing?! Ez not out here.” Grady yelled.
I looked from Grady back to Alden. Let’s just say, Alden looked pissed.
As Alden began to walk towards me, he began yelling himself. “Who the hell do you think you two are? Do you know who I am? I will have you killed for…”
I snapped. All the stress, pressure, bad decisions, not knowing what to do, failing at trying to get Grady and myself off this planet, finally got to me. So, I let my emotion out on poor Alden.
I punched Alden so hard in the mouth, a couple teeth came soaring out.
“Do you know who I am, Alden Gibson? Shut your damn mouth or else I’ll break all your teeth!” I walked over to Alden, where he was bent over, cursing in pain.
Alden looked up at me with an enraged glare on his face. In return, I gave him an unhinged look. Right now I was Alden’s worse nightmare. I grabbed the back of Alden’s neck, then pulled him in real nice and close. Behind the enraged look in his eyes, you could see there was fear. Now I had to capitalize on that fear. It was my only shot at getting out of here.
“Do as I say Alden, and you have my word that you and your loved ones will be safe.” That definitely got Alden’s attention.
Here’s the deal, I was totally bluffing. No way was I going to hurt this guy’s wife and kids. Alden needed to believe that we had been planning this for awhile, and we actually knew what we were doing. Desperate times call for desperate measures.
“I need the passcodes and routing code to the Noretrade freighter that’s at Rocco’s shop. I’ve been told you’re the guy to talk to. Now, the codes. Be smart Alden.” Alden barely let me finish speaking before he started babbling.
“I don’t have the codes, I’m not even in that same…” I gave Mr. Alden another crack on the cheek.
Alden cried out in pain. “Listen here bub, I know everything about you. Including that you’re the guy with the codes. Lie to me again and I will send my associate over to your home, to pay your wife and daughters a visit! Test me again and see what happens!”
Right after I said this, I realized I hadn’t even acknowledged Grady since he last spoke. Now I was praying Grady could at least stand there and look like a big goon, or at least a big… person. Instead, Grady looked like a scared little boy who didn’t know what to do. Great. Alden was kneeled on the ground and began to look Grady’s way. Not on my watch. Alden barely got a glance at Grady before I was standing right in front of Alden. Blocking his view too Grady.
“What’s it going to be bub? Don’t keep me waiting.” Alden now had all fear in his eyes.
Lucky for me, Alden wasn’t used to getting slapped around all the time. “Okay okay, I’ll give you the codes. Just please don’t hurt my family. I’ll do anything you want.”
Alden pulled out his company transmitter and began typing away. Grady then walked over. It seemed he was able to compose himself somewhat. That a boy Grady. In just a few moments, Alden handed us his transmitter. Grady and myself took a couple minutes to look over the screen. Everything looked legit to me.
“Does everything look good to you Grady?”
Grady looked satisfied. “This is it Ez. Everything we need.”
My attention shifted back to Alden. “Give me your work badge. Now.”
Alden reluctantly pulled his badge out of his pocket and handed it to myself. “Now listen here, this is what’s going to happen. It’s very simple. If you do not do what you’re told, Dana, Paige, and Brea are dead (remind me later to thank Grady for digging up dirt on this guy). We are taking your transmitter. You will not go into work until after we have the freighter and are off this planet. Tell Noretrade anything they need to hear so you don’t have to go into work. If you tip off anyone about what we are doing, I swear we will end everything you have ever loved, then you. You understand bub?”
Alden looked defeated and beat to hell. “Yes, I got it. Whatever you say I’ll do, anything to save my girls.”
I smiled at Alden. “Pleasure doing business with you bub.”
To be continued…