1.52 - Pauline’s Property

1.52 - Pauline’s Property

I visited Edan when we got back from the trip, I wanted someone to discuss things with and he wanted to get drunk before preparing for his next run across the galaxy. When I told him about Martin’s past, he asked me why I looked up to the man. At first, I thought he was joking, but Edan reads people well. As we drank more, I came to the conclusion that I did admire Martin. I looked up to him a lot. My realization just seemed to piss off Renan. Martin was a human supremacist. He did cause a ton of harm, and his actions indirectly led to the loss of lives. I can’t deny that. Still he did what he needed to do so that he could make it right. That’s the part I admire.

I can’t say I went on a lot of missions for humanitarian causes. I was directly involved in the assignation of seventeen different individuals. I’m sure there were more lives lost in the fallout from what I did. I was wrong, and instead of making things right, I ran away. The fact that he was able to recognize he was wrong and do something about it makes him admirable to me. Am I his legacy? No, I see that as the ramblings of an old man obsessed with mortality. He’s not the first, and won’t be the last. We all struggle with mortality during our lives. Some of us wait until we’re old, others when we’re blown up and lose an arm. But we all think about death, and what the world will think of us when we’re done here. Thoughts for another day I suppose. I’m already running late.

The door to the bar is already open, Pauline is wiping down some tables humming to herself. I grab a rag and some cleaner before joining in. I’m expecting Pauline to tear into me about being late, but she doesn’t and we finish with all of the tables pretty quickly before moving onto the kitchen. Occasionally she pauses her song to give me direction but other than that, she just sings today. It’s an odd atmosphere; the fact that Martin isn’t around only makes it stranger. I take a seat at the bar as we finish and she pours me a glass of water, she doesn’t believe in drinking on weekdays.

“You want to be a rancher,” Pauline asks me bluntly.

“I’m not sure what you mean.”

“We’re retiring. I’m sure Martin bored you to death with his life story on your little trip. He probably talked about how we’re old, don’t have any children and all that. Getting out of the business, planning to retire somewhere nice, with snow,” she gazes off with a smile.

I can’t help but laugh, “you both like snow a lot.”

“Yes, and we like you a little. That’s why we’re giving you the first option to purchase the ranch.”

“I don’t know what I did that gave off the idea that I was rich, or wealthy but I can’t afford to purchase one of these single-family homes around here, an entire ranch is just an insane thought.”

“If you had the money, would you buy it,” Pauline isn’t giving me a chance to think any of this over.

“I don’t know, it was never in my plans.”

“You’re an idiot if you’d pass up a 500 acre ranch falling in your lap. When we got the place it was dirt cheap,” she laughs at her pun. “But, with prices the way they are now, we’re giving you one hell of discount.”

“I don’t really know much about running a ranch.”

“We’ll get you set up, fully staffed. A good manager goes a long way. We can bring back the animals, that’s where the real money is. Live, natural animals. We just need to figure out what the market is craving.”

“I really don’t know about this.”

“Yes, you do, you just don’t want to say,” she brings out two shot glasses.

“Look, I’d never pay it off.”

“We’re old, we’ll keep it off the record. I’ll sign it all over to you this weekend, if you just say yes. Who cares if you ever pay us off? We’re old, we don’t have any kids. Just say yes, and send us half the yearly profit, just the profit. If you lose money we won’t ask for anything. If you can promise that, we’re good.”

“Can I have a few days to think it over?”


“I feel like I don’t have a lot of say in this.”

“You don’t have any say in this.”

“What happens if I don’t agree.”

“I just told you, it’s already been decided.”


“Because we’ve had a lot of folks in here, and you’re the only one who lasted this long. We like you, Martin talks about you as if you were his own son. I can see that you’re a hard worker and a tough bastard in a bar fight when you need to be. You’ve earned respect from both of us and that’s hard to do. Any other questions.”

“I’ve killed people and I’m currently AWOL. Does that change your opinion of me?”

“None of us are perfect. I’ve stolen more than you can imagine. I bet Martin didn’t mention that part.”

“No, he didn’t.”

She pours two shots, “by the time you get that AWOL situation taken care of, we’ll have this place looking like a real ranch.”

“I never agreed to anything.”

“You don’t have a choice. We’re doing what’s best for you. Keeping you from going out and finding your own wars to fight.”

There’s a knock at the door that interrupts us. I open the door to see Yushin, one of the older workers Pauline has kept on staff. He works slower than most, talks slower than most, but keeps at his own pace and finishes everything on time. It’s like he has everything timed out, but he’s panicked today.

“Mrs. Pauline,” he starts, out of breath, “we got another overdose.”

“Another one,” Pauline yells more than asks.

Yushin made the run here across half the ranch, but we ride in Pauline’s truck to where supplies were being dropped off. Pauline really was serious about getting this place up and running again. While were out on our trip, she brought in some extra help to get everything up and running. She used the phrase, “faster than a rumble rabbit’s fart,” on the ride over. Personally, I have no idea what that means but Yushin seemed to understand. His response was something along the lines of “ocean cats don’t swim fast but always get their prey,” and she nods. Do rumble rabbits have fast farts? How do you even measure a fart’s speed? What is an ocean cat? Is it a cat that lives in the ocean or lives near it? I haven’t been on Nyame long enough to completely follow their conversation.

As we make our way over people part the circle and Pauline lets off a list of curse words and words I can only assume are curse words. The man seems to be coming to when we arrive but it doesn’t matter. Pauline fires him on the spot.

“I don’t know where this stuff is coming from, or what it is. But if I even think you’re getting high on my dime, your ass is fired,” Pauline shouts out and takes the time to look everyone in the eyes.

Some of the others tend to the man was Yushin gets the rest back to work. I follow Pauline to her truck. We don’t say anything on the way back to the main house, but something is on her mind.

“I can take care of it,” I find myself saying it without thinking.

I don’t know why, maybe my body and mind are craving something more. Life on ranch with a few camping trips isn’t bad at all. But, it’s boring. Even before she finished describing the situation around here, my mind was putting together and operation. Find a dealer, track the drugs back to the distributor, handle them.

“Don’t get caught,” is the only thing Pauline says.

I was expecting her to stop me, or tell me to calm down but these aren’t my parents. Pauline and Marty seem to throw caution to the wind if they think something is for the greater good. But this is Nyame, a place where the laws of Sol just barely overlap in some places. I can take care of this. I think I can.


Post a Comment