1.53 - What's Your Addiction

1.53 - What's Your Addiction

Pauline probably didn’t expect me to take a hands-on approach to dealing with this, but it’s the only thing I know how to do. After the ranch hand got back on his feet, I went to pay him a visit. I found out the drug he was taking is called charge. It’s supposed to give you a boost of energy and increase muscle function. A lot of professional fighters have been using it because there’s no real ban on it. There’s no ban on any drugs here. For the most part, it works out well. It’s a double-edged sword. The number of people using drugs become lower when we’re not hiding information about what they do and actually educate the public on them. On the opposite side, the people addicted are hit way harder than they would be if their drug of choice was in scare supply. People who actually need help aren’t sent to prison, they’re sent to get help; but drug tourism is a thing now, people just coming to get high. Nobody ever wants to meet in the middle, it’s all or nothing. Another downside is that corporations use it as a testing spot for whatever new thing they’ve got. Charge screams corporate failure to me. A drug that doesn’t necessarily get you high, but fills you with energy; it’s an artificial caffeine. If I had to guess, the side effects were too much to take to market.

The standard play here would be to visit a rehabilitation group and look for someone who stands out, take his information and infiltrate the corporation. A really simple play for a team of experienced people who are looking for a specific target or piece of information. I’m just a single man looking to track down a single drug supplier. I’m just going to look for someone to buy drugs from. How do you find someone to buy drugs from? Be a drug addict.

I’ve been watching and listening to people share their stories of addiction for the last forty-five minutes. Occasionally, I fidget or stare off into space. The sun glasses hide the fact that my pupils aren’t dilated. I’ve been doing a lot lately to try to access my own emotions. Emotions I had placed in a trunk then tossed beneath an ocean somewhere before melting the key. The moment things would begin to tug at my heart, I’d lock them away. Even with all the soul searching I’ve been doing lately, I’m not here for group therapy. I’m on a mission.

I mingle eating snacks and drinking soda with the others. I make sure my erratic movements are noticeable. Occasionally I place a snack in my pocket or give someone a dirty look, as if they’re judging me. I don’t have to find a dealer, they’ll find me as long I act noticeable enough, and I am.

Outside I shuffle through my pockets in a rush. Eventually I remove a shoe, and produce some money. That’s all I needed to do. A woman with pink hair leans against the wall next to me. She’s the dealer here. Preying on people’s weaknesses, illnesses, all to make a dollar.

“Didn’t catch your name in there buddy,” she says lighting a cigarette.

“Didn’t give one, and I’m not your buddy,” I respond as if I’m being rushed.

“Woah, no need to be so hostile, we can be buddies.”

“Don’t need no buddies.”

“But you need a fix, I can tell and I help with that,” she softens her voice in attempt to seem like a nurturer.

“How can you help with that?”

“If I can’t get it, I know someone who can.”

“Charge, can you get that?”

“I can get that, but it’ll cost you.”

“Well get it,” I demand.

It doesn’t take long for her to send out a text message. Soon we’re making our way down the block before heading into an alleyway. A man steps through an open door wearing a dirty apron. I peel apart the dirty bills and pay him. He hands me an inhaler cartridge before heading back inside.

“Hey, what if I need more,” I ask him.

“Eager beaver,” woman with pink hair laughs.

“I don’t know you,” the man walks inside slamming the door behind him.

Dealing with local drug dealers is a lot different than assassinating dictators with a whole team. I’ll likely have to cop more from her and a few other dealers. Tranquillus isn’t a big city, but I’m sure there are other meetings, just as I’m sure there are other dealers.

This is what Pauline wanted right? Me taking care of the drug trade, making sure it doesn’t reach the ranch. I roll the canister of charge around in my hand and wonder if I’m going too far.


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