1.55 – Because I Can

1.55 – Because I Can

I went back and forth about how I should handle this for two days. I wanted to just kill them all and be done with it. Then I wanted to kill the guy with the stash, but they could just find another supplier. The more I thought about it, the more my solutions just revolved around killing more and more people until I ended up with over a dozen bodies on my list. The more I thought about killing the more excuses I thought of as to why it was okay. In the end, killing just doesn’t feel right for me anymore. Still, I need to do something, so I’m here, waiting inside the stash house. I snuck in between runs without any issues. I expected at least some extra locks or a hand scanner, but I suppose they think they’re good enough that nobody notices their little operation.

The money wasn’t exactly hidden well either, a second bedroom holding boxes and shipping instructions. They’re shipping the money to a few different addresses off world. The entire origination is much larger than I had expected. I’m not a one-man army, taking out a gang with a few members is nothing, but a cartel operating on multiple worlds is too much.

I take up position in the stash room, just out of sight. When the man makes his way into the room I surprise him with a strong right hand. We don’t fight for long before I’m able to zip tie his hands and legs together. They aren’t cuffs, but they’ll make due. When he comes to, he’ll probably be loud. I don’t want to draw any attention. I grab a towel from the kitchen and shove it in his mouth before moving him to the main bedroom and dropping him on the bed. I lean on the wall waiting on him to wake up. It might be easier to just kill him. It would send a stronger message to the others. I just can’t do it; I could shoot him in the knee but I didn’t bother to get a gun and I could have bought one on any corner in a sixteen block radius. He starts to come to, choking on the rag before breathing through his nose.

“Hey, calm down,” I take a seat on the bed next to him, pulling out my pocket knife. “I’m just here to have a chat with you. Understand?” He nods, terrified of what I might do. That’s all I need; the thought of death can be more powerful than death. “Hey, you and your friends are supplying drugs to Tranquillus right,” I ask, he nods. I don’t need his confirmation, I know. “I need you to stop. I could have killed you tonight, but I chose not to. You haven’t wronged me personally, but someone I care about is really upset with you guys. This whole show, it’s just to prove to you that I can kill you and it wouldn’t even be hard.”

This is the part in the movie where I’m supposed to run my knife across his face and give him a scar to remember me by. Instead I just use my wrist comp to snap a photo. I’ll need it to show his friends when I meet them in the market. For now, I just sit on the bed with him and read the news. I read it out loud, trying to find the worst stories I can.

“Trellis, a large colony on the dwarf planet Romero 442 had to be abandoned and evacuated today. After attempts to stop the spread of a fungal virus created by the local fauna. The colony is on the outskirts of Revel Republic was formerly home to Revrell refuges, The Strux, an insect like species. According to data logged by late researcher Duane Benjamin, The Strux abandoned the planet because they were also unable to cope with the infection. We’ll have more later.”

That’s some nasty business. I thought I’d read a story about some murder and really drive home my point, but that might actually be worse. Knowing what I know after my years of service, they probably shot anyone that knew about what really happened then bombed the colony into dust. We’ll never know the truth.

“Well, I’ve got to go. Your friends will come to get you later,” I ruffle the guys hair like he’s a kid before leaving.

It’s a quick walk over on a warm summer night. Is it summer? I haven’t figured out the season around here yet. I move through the crowd in the night market, doing my best to stay out of the way of others and out of the grasp of merchants, but we’re shoulder to shoulder. It’s hard to move through the place without bumping into anyone or being having parts of your clothing yanked. From a distance I can spot the three guys working the stand preparing the money for the pickup. I approach them with a smile and they can already tell I’m up to something.

“What,” a tall skinny man demands as I approach.

I pull up the photo of their friend on my wrist comp, “I just wanted to show you how easy it was for me to get your friend. I can do that to any of you, any time I want. This is just to show you how easy it is. No more dealing in Tranquillus. I don’t care what you do beyond that. Tranquillus is off limits. I didn’t touch your money, take it. Start a new life.”

I wait for an answer as they go back and forth with each other, debating if I’m serious or insane before one decides to make a phone call. I’m nervous when I hear the phone ring, but I hide it. They could be calling for backup, but I’m hoping they’re trying to call their friend.

“You’re not going to get away with this,” a shorter man swears at me.

“I think I just did,” I turn my back and walk away from them, raising a hand and waving.

I’m not sure if this is what Pauline wanted, but this should make things a little easier, a little safer. It was fun running my own little operation. Perhaps I miss it all; but more than likely it’s the adrenaline flowing through me again altering my thoughts into thinking I’m the last true action hero. There’s nothing calling me back to serve, but a craving for another shot of adrenaline.


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