Esquire: Part 4 of 6
Well, this week passed in a haze of anxiety, physical pain and self-deprecation. Guess it just wasn't my week to be well. It happens much less than it used to, so at least when the pendulum swings back into the realms of "okay" I can shake out of the gloom and shove it back into the corner where it belongs. The cool part is that the pendulum does swing, now, rather than just staggered swaying over on the broken side of things.
I got a bunch of writing done, in spite of myself, and had a few high points both with my current writing projects and completed ones:
1. I wrote a scene in my main manuscript that I had been mulling for weeks because, honestly, to write it I thought I had to be a better writer than I am. Turns out, I just had to write it.
2. I had a great phone call with my Promotions Specialist regarding some marketing tips, materials, and strategies - all of which were explained so that my brain could understand. (Shameless plug: if you're Canadian and thinking of self-publishing, check out FriesenPress. Yes, they're expensive. Yes, for me it was totally worth it because of the support and the quality of my finished books.)
3. I've really rediscovered the happy place that writing short stories creates for me. The commitment to characters isn't novel sized, but the situations are intense and lovely and... yeah. That stuff is good for my soul.
Have a great weekend!
4. Opportunities of Convenience
Alua spoke in a native language very similar to his own. Actually, she sang at first. She enjoyed the specialized climate in her holding cell more than any planet she had been on in the past four years since being stolen and sold. The ship’s AI had been programmed for aquatic vibrations as its primary language, so it responded to her in small ways that Dorian allowed. She communicated with him through the ship as well, relaying her end of a one sided conversation through the hull.
At first Dorian had ignored her. She seemed to be attempting nothing more than polite small talk, which he despised. Her line of thinking and questioning didn’t correspond with any of the targets that he had dealt with in the past, so when she started talking of being able to contact him after this drop was complete he had contacted his next employer to distract himself.
Dutha was a human. She was old but possessed markers of standardly accepted mammalian beauty. She was also very powerful and very wealthy. Her aide had at first told Dorian that Ms. Dutha was in an important meeting, but when he’d given his alias the aide had immediately transferred the contact to Dutha’s private office.
“Esquire, I’m very pleased to be speaking with you so soon. I was not expecting your contact until next week.”
Dorian let the polite conversation-starting comment slide past him without remark. He knew that she had wanted him to call sooner, that she had rushed from a meeting to receive this contact in her private office was proof enough. The silence pulled at her nearly as much as he knew the blank screen in front of her did. All of his clients hated that he refused to show them his physical features during first contact. It was as if he was seeing them naked while he was still fully clothed and they were not used to, or able to pretend to like, being treated this way. The green flashing light at the bottom of her viewer would show that he had not terminated the contact, so he let the game draw out.
“I see you are not a man of many words, Esquire. I will get to the heart of the matter,” she paused briefly to see if he would respond, and then plowed ahead with the conversation. “I have under my authority the Madak system, a small area in –”
“I know where it is,” the clipped interruption startled her. She recovered quickly, to her credit.
“Yes, of course you do. The planet of Barakeen is of some importance for future investments, but the local company representative is unwilling to perform his duties as instructed. He has created an uncomfortable situation and has now involved unauthorized mercenary personnel. He was ordered to return to company headquarters, but has refused. We wish him returned. Preferably alive, if possible.”
“One million standard if he is alive. Two hundred and fifty thousand standard if he is dead.”
Dorian paused at the price. Apparently this representative had become very uncomfortable for his company. He wouldn’t have to work for a long while if the target could be brought in alive.
“You come highly recommended. I trust this amount is acceptable to you?”
“And if it isn’t?” Dorian had to ask.
“Then I will be forced to find a secondary associate and our business is completed,” she smiled coldly. Dorian smiled back, although she couldn’t see it. He preferred working for people that didn’t mince words or waste time.
“Forward the information to my ship over this contact.”
“Thank you, Esquire. I am certain this is the beginning of a mutually fruitful agreement,” her countenance appeared relieved.
The information was received in less than a minute and Dorian killed the connection. It seemed odd to him that the target would be on the same planet that he was already going to, but he had noticed that sometimes life provided interesting coincidences every now and then. He brought up the information onto the display. Sometimes life provided very interesting coincidences.
He closed the file, stood and stretched. He vibrated in his own language to the ship’s AI for it to contact his current target’s so-called worried family. Then he went back to the holding cells to see if he could make a second agreement today.
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A weekly blog updating on Fridays with quick personal blurbs about me, as in what's going on during my life as an Author and mom, and that doles out my short stories and novellas in bite-sized parts for everyone to read for free!