Written in 365 Parts: 44: Paid Off

Drick stared at the back of the departing executive vehicle as it rounded a bend in the tunnel and out of view. The rear of the vehicle was a mess, there was little left of the passenger compartment and a multitude of shredded pieces of layered armour pockmarked the whole of the rear hull. It was going to cost Drick their deposit and probably a little credit rating until the insurance claim could be filed and processed. Drick figured that it would be handled swiftly and discreetly, in fact they would not be surprised if it were not already being dealt with.

Drick had asked Boomer to bring in two more of their people to help in the immediate aftermath of the pursuit through the tunnels. One was currently piloting the executive vehicle back to the rental service. The other sat in a loaned hovervan in a side tunnel. They would drive the security guards to their destination after Drick had spoken to them. Or to be more precise they would deliver one to a convenient contact who would have them taken off planet. The other was going to be mailed back to their friends at Volstron courtesy of an associate in the Engineer’s Union.

Drick’s gambit had paid off well. The Engineer’s Union were suitably unimpressed by both the illicit incursion into their territories, the lack of advance notice and the small firefight over the heads of their employees and protectees. Most of the traders in this region paid a small, but generous, stipend to the Union for insurance services. Rarely did the Union need to provide for that payment so being forced to by these circumstances ruffled the right feathers.

As for Drick, they were partially in the clear due to going through the proper channels and alerting the local Union branch in advance of their movements. They had also paid the right fees to the right bosses. The street gang Drick had employed were paid up with Union fees and so everything was tidy enough that it was forgiveable that Drick chose to escape into this section.

Drick synced internal comms channels to Boomer’s private channel. “How are we doing?”

“‘Bout the same as always.”

“That bad, huh?”

“Yup. Well you started this mess. Why couldn’t you leave this alone? I guess this was something you could have just dropped?”


“Then why the heck did you bring this whole mess on to yourself?”

“You already know the answer to that.”

“You just can’t help yourself, can you? What next?”

“How well do you trust the people who are piloting?”

“More than I trust you.”


“I always did have a soft spot for you. It was as if you were ankle deep in a marsh.”

“Upside down then?”

“Too right. I trust them. Known them a long while, never had any issues and they know how to keep their mouths quiet.”

“Good. I will try and keep them out of this as much as possible. Same with you.”

“Oh I think I am about neck deep in that marsh with you at this point and heading in the same direction.”

“You could have said no.”

“You know I couldn’t have. Not really. Not when you were praying.”

“Sure. Look this is getting really messy so I want to straight line it as much as I can. If I get even an inkling as to who to aim for from this guard that’s going to be the target. We good with that?”

“Five by five.”

“Then let’s talk to the guard.”

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