Episode 1

Tendrils of sunlight shone in through the slender faux suede blinds of Victor Aodhan's timeshare on the 26th floor of the Tellis Tower in the middle of Barstow Circle. He had forgotten to set the blinds onto their "blackout" setting after returning from his celebratory party in the Light District. Victor had just closed Eagle Security's contract with Horizon which guaranteed that Eagle had exclusive rights to protect all of Horizon's Bakersfield holdings for the next five years. His reputation as "Mr. Victory" as well as his distant connection to Eagle's CEO Goddrick Oster landed the bid proposal in his comlink.

Victor spent three days in negotiation with Horizon on Eagle's behalf to make sure that everyone won. Horizon got their top-tier protection at a discounted rate, Eagle got an exclusive deal for their services which would guarantee income for at least five years, and Victor got his comission. Money and Victor were never company for long… ergo the party. His philosophy was that value could be found in the people who you knew and who owed you, not in wads of Nuyen and certified credit.

Just as a beam of sunlight found its way into Victor's face, his comlink started its song and dance for attention. The Sony "Emperor" started with a light beeping. Victor rolled out of the sunlight towards the other side of his posh queen bed. The Emperor continued to beep, loudly. With the grim realization that his sleep was over, Victor begrudgingly rolled over to see who was important enough to give his comlink a fit. With his hangover blaring at full strength he fumbled the vibrating and beeping comlink for a good while before finally retaining a solid grasp on it.

As he answered, a stange sound like a jumble of voices meshed together and quilted with high-pitched wails blasted out of his comlink before going silent and being taken by static. Victor stared at his Emperor. This behaviour was highly unusual for a comlink. Moreso unusual for a new comlink, and even more unusual for a new comlink in a high-reception area. Just as he considered terminating the glitched connection and return to sleep he heard a familiar voice through the link.

"'Bout time you woke up you worthless," the female voice took a dramatic breath of air before continuing her diatribe, "but beautiful man. I just got zaped by a big name in town for some personal business but can't take another job just yet."

Victor couldn't remember who this was or why she sounded familiar. He just wanted to drift back to his slumber. Yes, sleep was good… he should just… go… to…

"The money will be good!" A groan of frustration from the call startled him back to full awakeness. "Are you even listening to me Victor?"

The realization of who was talking to him hit quickly and from left field. He rubbed the sides of his temples, partly due to the pain he felt from the horrific noise that had first come through the comlink, but mostly due to the sudden rush of remembrance through his hangover.

He sighed through the link, "Busy as usual, eh Mira? No surprise there. You've always been my type: insomniatic. Is there something you want to tell me? I do believe I head you mention money and personal business. What are you on about?"

Mira had a light exasperated sigh escape her before she answered. "Figures that it's always nuyen and cred with you." She giggled lightly, "Even when we fuck. You know there's a reason I do you for free, right?"

Victor laughed, but before he had a chance to respond, she continued. "A fixer I know needs something done. He's one of the big dogs too."

He weighed his options and Mira's demeanor as answered, "A Fixer… and a big dog at that. What's the job, or do you even know yet?" He figured that she sounded calm and composed enough to be telling the truth without duress. She probably wanted to do the job, but viewed the task as being less important than her personal business. She was likely handing the job off to a friend to earn a favor for later if the payoff was large enough.

As Victor headed towards the kitchen to prepare his morning coffee he listened to Mira let loose a cocquettish giggle and explain why she didn't know what the job was.

"Like a fixer is going to just broadcast details about his needs to the whole world through little ol' me." She delivered that last part with a faux country accent dripping with chagrin. A chime came through over the audio of the call. It sounded like a doorbell. "Do you want to link up with this guy or not?" She asked, clearly agitated that her call would be cut somewhat short.

Victor thought about her proposition for a brief moment. Mira was a fellow Face, a negoation specialist, who doubled as a joygirl. This job couldn't possibly be dangerous or life threatening or it wouldn't have come to a prostitute. With a chuckle at how freuqntly the lines of negotiation and sex overlapped he answered.

"Sure, why not. I'd like to know at least something about this guy."

The sound of Mira humming a nonsense melody to herself while she pranced through her home came through the comlink before being replaced by a bustle of activity followed by rushed speech, "I've sent you this fixer's com address. Get in touch with him and work out the details like only that tongue or yours can." There was special emphasis and draw on the word 'tongue.'

As the comlink's audio faded out, Victor heard one last snippet of conversation that made him shake his head and pour his now brewed Salish-Sidee import dark roast into a wafer thin ceramic-plasteel composite glass.

"Byron! Let's get that monster of yours out of it's cage…"

And the link was dead.


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