Thursday, February 01, 2007

March 22, 2004

Dime Novel daze

This was not his idea of productive investigation, face to face meetings in his experience served only to give the false illusions of real progress and more often than not unreliable information. Still it was part of his job and a part that he had an undeniable talent for enduring.

If this was going to happen it had to happen on his terms. A crowded bar would serve as the setting, a table not a booth in the middle of the floor, and 45 minutes before midnight. These were the terms he outlined, of course his adversary agreed to them, it is a common practice on both sides to allow the other side to believe they have more power and choice over whats going on than they really do.

He had chosen a bar for a reason, as full of people of all types as they can be they are also remarkably easy to case, maneuvering through the maze of people and tables allows for a very detailed assessment. He made his way to the table taking mental notes of a few points of interest for later review. As he took his seat he gave a small nod of his head as acknowledgement to the man wearing a gray trenchoat sitting in the seat directly across the table.

"It's eleven fifty three" the man in the gray.
"Yes I know" he replied "I had something that had to be taken care of immediately".
"Might I ask what was more important to you than ensuring the safety of the lovely Selene?" he hissed.
"Since it does involve you I suppose I can let you in" he said as a small smile crept from one side of his mouth to the other. "I had to prove to you that you would not harm the girl over something as trivial as a missed deadline. She's too important to your success"
"I see from your actions that you are quite a gambler, that is quite dangerous in our line of business is it not?"
"No doubt you did your research long before this meeting, you must know me better than that by now. Even Savage that lowlife gun for hire that you having sitting in the corner could have given you a more accurate profile of me."
laughter "Yes well Lanny may no be the most moral of help, but he's good with his weapon if he needs to be and he stays true to his contract. Hiding apparently is not one of hi.."
"You can keep the formalities to a minimum" he interrupted "I know I was intended to make Savage right away, an obvious distraction. You obviously have other marks in the room, no doubt you have guessed that I may have set up a few as well. Do we really want to continue on this path and find out if your marks are good enough to make mine?"

Nothing but silence for what appears to both parties to be almost too long, suddenly the silence is broken

"We are holding in perfect safety; I am sure you meant to ask that when you first sat down"
"As I told you before, I have no doubt you are treating her with extreme care up to this point, if she is harmed in the least you know quite well my employer will never give in to your demands"
"I assume you have been told what we require for the girls safety?"
"I have heard the demands, reasonable for the most part if not petty"
"You would do well to watch your tongue"
"My apologies" a brief pause "You have proof of her well being I assume?"
"I have these" The man in gray reaches into his coat slowly producing an envelope full of pictures of Selene and a hand written note. "You will find that is her handwriting, of course we could forge it but at this point there would appear to be no reason for that.
"You mean unless she is injured or dead"
A small wince slides through the man in the trenchcoat as he realized he has just confirmed the girl is definitely unharmed. "we make no promises as to how long she will stay that way"
"Is that what you would like me to tell my employer?"
"Tell him the girl will stay fine for now, but we will grow weary of the games very soon."
"A reasonable message, and the pictures?"
"Let him see them, let him read the note, let him remember the love he has for his daughter"
"We are entering an interesting game you and I."
A quick motion towards Lanny Savage sitting in the corner "You would do well to rid yourself of certain acquaintance before our next meeting. Out of respect for the situation and our first meeting I have chosen not to collect the debt I am owed, bring him to my presence again and I will not be so cordial."
another small laugh "He has served his purpose, at least as well as I expected him to."

The man reaches into his pocket and produces a small cell phone, handing it to the man in the gray trenchcoat "You can dial any number it doesn't matter, the phone will only call one place. A small offshore call center, just ask for Teller they will transfer you to me."
"Teller you say, is that what I shall call you?"
"It's as good a name as any, I have certain contacts who know me as such it seems appropriate if we are to stay in contact for you to have a way to identify me if you must. I trust you will contact me if the situation changes"
"We will be in contact"

The man Teller stands up from his seat; looks over at Savage briefly, tips his hat to the man in gray, turns and walks with a stride of great confidence straight out the front door..

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