It was finally the big day. I had spent the remainder of my time I had left to study up on how to actually pilot a freighter. I’m sure it couldn’t be too difficult, right? Besides who knew we might not even make it that far. Grady on the other hand was a nervous wreck.
Poor guy couldn’t sleep, or even eat. Let me tell you, Grady could put down the food. The guy was like a never ending pit. There wasn’t anything I could say to Grady to make him feel better. We knew we couldn’t trust Emry and her psychotic metallic pet. I had a feeling that something today was not going to go as planned.
There we were, sitting at the bar, awaiting for the inevitable to come walking through the door. For once we thought it best to hold off on the drinks before this adventure. We thought ahead and got that out of our system the night before. It was still before opening time so the place was deserted. We gave Murry our goodbyes, because either way we were not going to see my old friend for quite some time. Murry had no desire meeting Emry, or being present when we met up with her. I wouldn’t want to meet that woman either if I had the choice.
The front doors slammed open. Looks like the party had finally arrived. Emry came storming in like she owned the place. Today Emry was wearing her usual black everything. All the way from her jacket down to her boots. Although she brought a black backpack with her, with who knows what inside. Colors must not be Emry’s thing.
As Emry approached Grady and myself, I gave her a shout. “Sorry we’re closed ma’am, gonna have to come back in a few.”
Emry apparently didn’t find myself funny. Emry retorted, “Shut your mouth before I shut it for you.”
I gave Emry a forced smile. “Always a pleasure. Where is your little friend today?”
Right on cue, Eps dropped down from the ceiling onto the bar right between Grady and myself. Grady flinched so hard he just about fell off his stool.
Eps sounded very amused. “Calm down big stuff, you don’t want to start an earthquake.”
I didn’t know very many androids, but the ones I have heard definitely do not have a mouth like Eps did. I was very curious where and who manufactured Eps. If I lived long enough I was going to have to find out.
I gave Eps a wink. “Good to see you, bub.”
Eps began walking away from me and looked back.”Don’t flatter yourself Ezzy.”
Eps then found himself a shot glass from behind the bar, flipped it over, and sat on it. The android knew how to make himself at home, I’ll give him that.
Emry cleared her throat. “Are you two gentlemen ready for today?”
I chimed in right away. “Of course we are. We won’t let you or the Trade down. That freighter is ours.”
I admit, I was laying it on thick. Keep your enemies closer right?
Emry’s gaze turned towards Grady. “You’re the one I’m worried about, big fella. Are you going to be a liability? If so, I would let me know now. You mess up my operation and you’re a dead man. Got me?”
Grady’s voice was just a tad shaky. “You don’t have to worry about me. I’ll be fine.”
Eps let out a little metallic sounding laugh. “Oh yeah you won’t stick out at all. At least he doesn’t talk much.”
I had to back up my buddy. “Grady is more useful than you know. He was essential in getting those codes. Grady and myself are a group deal.”
Emry looked amused. “How Noble of you. Just know that if the big talker over here screws this up, both of you are going down together. Got it?”
I had definitely gotten used to Emry’s death threats by now. “I hear you loud and clear Emry.”
Emry nodded. Then she grabbed inside of her bag and pulled out some clothes, and tossed them to Grady and myself.
“Alright boys, here are some Noretrade uniforms. Welcome to the company. Now go get changed, and then let’s go get us a freighter.”
As we walked outside of Murry’s Place, an official Confederate zip was waiting for us. I gotta say I never thought I’d be riding in one of these bad boys unless I was going to the clink. This patrol zip was smooth. All sleek silver coloring. Duel top of the line turbo thrusters on the back end. To put it very mildly this zip was extremely fast, and handled well.
Standing nearby the zip was a Confederate officer to match. He was an older man who was a little on the shorter side. The man had a lean frame and was beginning to bald up top. The guy also had some piercing blue eyes that looked a bit dead inside if you ask me. Like everyone else around Torin, he didn’t look very happy to see us.
Emery on the other hand looked a bit excited. “Boys, this gentleman will be our ride for today’s business.”
“Does this gentleman have a name?” I couldn’t help myself but to ask.
Emry looked like she knew what I was going to say before I even said it. “No need to know his name. All you need to know is to stay in the zip until we get to Noretrade.”
Before I could even get any words out, Mr. Gentleman spoke up. “Alright, enough with all the talk. Everyone get in and shut up.”
I gave Grady a look like, “this just gets better and better”. Grady looked like he was his usual nervous self. He was doing a better job of hiding his nerves than usual, I will give him that. Grady and myself hopped in the back of the zip, while Emry got in the front along with Mr. Gentleman.
Just like that we were off, and guess what? There was absolutely no talking. Big surprise. We were zipping through traffic like nothing. Most people on Torin would do whatever it took to avoid a patrol zip. Myself included. In no time at all we arrived at Noretrade.
Mr. Gentleman parked a safe distance away from the main, massive Noretrade building. I couldn’t get over the size of all the Noretrade buildings and how much space they owned. We are talking about moving some serious freight with this operation.
While we were waiting, Emry gave us the lowdown on what we should expect when we got to Rocco’s. Luckily for Grady and myself, the lowdown pretty much consisted of us being quiet and letting her do most of the talking. Same old song and dance.
We only had to wait for about half an hour and we were off once again. Mr. Gentleman began tailing a Noretrade zip that just pulled out onto the street. This was definitely not the first time Mr. Gentleman had followed someone. He was perfectly a safe distance away, while at the same time never losing any ground. I couldn’t help but feel a little bad for the people in the Noretrade zip. They had no idea what kind of people were coming after them.
Soon we were off the main expressway, getting closer to Rocco’s Shop. Mr. Gentleman, out of nowhere rapidly began reducing the distance between us and the Noretrade zip. In no time we were right on their heels with our sirens and lights going off.
On this busy street there was only one obvious place for these Noretrade guys to pull off. A little back alley off to the right side of the road, behind some sketchy pawn shop. We followed the zip into the deserted back alley.
As we were just about to park Mr. Gentleman said, “No one does anything until I say so. Got it?”.
Mr. Gentleman was answered with complete silence. “Good.” Said Mr. Gentleman with no expression on his face.
The old man got out of the zip and began to walk towards his prey. When he reached his destination, he lowered his head down to talk to the passengers in the zip. Mr. Gentleman began to back away, and then two people emerged from the zip. The man and woman from the Noretrade zip did not look happy at all. They looked down right pissed.
I heard Mr. Gentleman yelling at the man and woman. “Now walk towards my patrol zip!”
OrRight as the man and the woman turned away from Mr. Gentleman and began walking towards my direction, Mr. Gentleman raised his piece, and shot both the man and woman, in the backs of their heads.
To be continued…