Saturday, October 23, 2010

Day Eighty-Three

Day 83: 23 Oct 2010

Cassie still wasn't back by noon today. I'm not sure what I was up to before then, which isn't a good thing. That means the slug was probably puppeting me around most of the morning.

Around noon, though, I was just kind of hanging out. I was in one of the safehouses in Koreatown, an apartment building the syndicate used to house its people. And I was getting hungry.

As I was considering food, though, the front door opened. I expected Cassie -- she knew where to find me -- but it wasn't Cassie.

"Heard you've been looking for me," the young man said as he walked into the apartment and closed the door.

I had been. His name was Eric Drake, and he was one of the outside contractors the West Coast Syndicate used to get information on the Russians. He was a little older than me, and his arms were covered in tattoos. I'd met him once or twice before, but we hadn't talked much.

Eric took a seat on the couch and kicked one combat-booted foot up on the coffee table. He didn't seem afraid of me -- that's rare.

"I guess I have," I said. Some screech had crept into my voice, but he didn't seem flustered by it.

"One thing," he said. "Just in case you're thinking of getting violent, you should know my van downstairs is packed with a couple tons of trinitrotoulene. It's roughly equivalent to a mini nuclear bomb. I won't tell Homeland Security if you won't."

He knew his stuff, this Eric guy. I could walk away from a lot, but probably not several tons of TNT. That would turn this building into a crater, and we both knew it.

"You won't need that. I'm only looking for information. On the other one like me."

"Yeah, the other slug-thing. Your brother. He's gone off the chain, but I'm sure you know that," Eric said. "Has the Syndicate people running scared. But he doesn't know me."

"Do you have any information that could help me locate him?"

"That depends on what you've got to offer me for it," he said.

I didn't have much in the way of money, but I know where the Syndicate keeps a rather large stock of cash, in case of emergency. I wasn't sure it would still be there; Travis killing them all wholesale was about as "in case of emergency" as situations could get.

"Half a million," I said.

"Fine. You obviously wouldn't have it here. Meet me tomorrow afternoon. The Beverly Center."

"I can do that."

"I'll be bringing my friend Jim The Big-Ass Bomb in case you figure it'll just be cheaper to beat it out of me."

"Fair enough."

So now, as soon as Cassie gets back, we have to go steal a bunch of cash.

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