Snow Flurry - 0 - Prologue

Dec 29th, 2012
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  1. Part 0 – Prologue
  3. You kick the door shut behind you as you toss your keys on the table in the middle of your flat. As you walk past it towards your bed, you slide the envelope you just pulled off your front door over to the other side where your keys landed without bothering to look at it. You already know who sent it. You haven't gotten mail from anyone but your landlord in a few months; you don't really expect today to be an exception to the rule.
  5. “Fucking hell,” you mutter to yourself. You're already in debt to everyone you know and still a month behind on rent. It's not like you can forget about it. Does the bitch really need to remind you about it every goddamn week?
  7. You sigh, cracking open a bottle of cheap beer that your friend left for you. Nothing like warm beer that tastes like water. You can't even drown out your troubles properly with this crap unless you went through five cases, but you decide that you'd rather go thirsty even if you had more. You sit down on your bed and grab the laptop lying at the foot, flipping it open to watch some ponies. At least candy colored equines can still lift your spirits after a long day earning enough money to buy yourself a cheap meal with a couple bucks left over.
  9. Just as the theme song starts a creaking noise catches your attention.
  11. “I hope you don't mind if I let myself in mate, door being unlocked and all I figure it's all okay.”
  13. Fuck. You forgot to lock the door. You jump up and brandish your mostly empty beer bottle as a weapon.
  15. “Who the fuck are you?”
  17. “Don't matter who the fuck I am.” The intruder steps around the open door and fully into your vision. If he's trying to look intimidating, he isn't doing it right. He's a tall, skinny kid with long, dirty blonde hair thrown around his head in no particular style. He walks further into your room, shutting the door behind him as he enters. His eyes scan the room for a place to sit, but, failing to find one, he walks over to the corner of the where your bed is. He stops just a meter away from you and sits down on your table. “Oh, would you put that shit away already? You look like a bloody fucking moron.”
  19. You prepare to strike him with bottle, but, thinking better of it you relax slightly and set it down next to you. There's plenty of room to hide a much better weapon than yours under your guest's ill-fitting blazer. You ease yourself back onto your bed, being careful to keep the bottle close at hand should you need it.
  21. The tension having been lifted sufficiently for your mind to pick up other things, you realize that your laptop is still spouting the MLP theme at full volume. The intruder seems to pick up on this simultaneously, contorting his face into a half-laugh, half-smirk, but doesn't seem surprised enough to press the issue further; in fact, he seems to take in perfect stride like it was something to be expected of a twenty-something guy.
  23. “Now, don't worry. I'm not the kinda guy who goes around busting kneecaps or nothing. It's not exactly productive; all it does is piss you off and tire out my arms. That said, you still got an unpaid debt to my boss and we can't be waiting forever on our money.”
  25. Fuck. You knew you shouldn't have taken out the loan with that shitty bank to cover last month's bills. Anyone willing to lend to you had to be a pretty crappy business.
  26. “Now, normally, you see, things might be pretty bad for somebody in your shoes. But you seem like a good, hard-working fellow who just so happens to fit certain,” he pauses, seemingly for dramatic effect as it's quite obvious to you that this little speech is pretty well rehearsed, “criteria that we're looking to employ, so my boss got a special offer for you. All he wants is for you to come have a chat with him so you two can work something out.”
  28. He leans back, seemingly awaiting a response. You aren't quite sure what to make of this whole situation yet. He interrupts your thoughts before you can think of a response.
  30. “Considering the alternative is that I have a look around your place here and take what I want, which might take care of about half of what you owe if I clean you out. Then, we're right back where we started.”
  32. You aren't exactly inclined to go for rides with thugs who show up at your flat uninvited, but you can't find a way around the dilemma he's presented. You get up, deciding that whatever is in store for you can't be worse than ending up with less to your name than what you've got.
  34. The intruder smiles his comical smirk once again, seemingly pleased by your choice. He leads your wordlessly out the door, but stops suddenly once you've both exited the flat.
  36. “Don't forget to lock the door behind you. Wouldn't want nothing bad to happen to your place while you're gone.”
  38. - - -
  40. After what seems like hours riding in the back of an old Cadillac with the back window smashed out and covered with cardboard and duct tape, you arrive at what looks like a warehouse out in the middle of nowhere. All of a sudden your decision to play along doesn't seem so smart anymore. There's enough room to bury the bodies of your entire town out here and nobody would ever notice. Whatever goes on here, it's sure of a hell a lot more than meetings.
  42. The intruder pulls off the main road and onto a gravel path leading up the warehouse.
  44. “Looks like we're here. Out you go.”
  46. You dislodge the door with some deal of force and step out onto the gravel.
  48. The intruder pulls a key from his pocket and unlocks a heavy door. Taking the cue, you head inside. He steps in behind you and locks the door again with the key from the inside. You enter into what seems to be a small office space sectioned off from the rest of the warehouse. There's already another guy sitting in a folding chair on the other end of the room with an empty seat next to him, looking a bit jittery and nervous. You suspect that you aren't probably looking as cool and calm and you think you are either right now, though.
  50. “Ah, welcome, everyone's finally here.” Another man steps into the office from around the partition. Given that he's somewhat older and significantly better dressed than his accomplice, you can only suspect that he's the man you were brought here to meet.
  51. “Go ahead and have a seat.”
  53. You slide into the free chair in a poorly executed attempt to appear calm, but end up just betraying your nervousness.
  55. “I'll cut to the chase. You're both here because you owe me money and are uniquely qualified to work for some of our most selective associates.”
  57. You really don't like the way he put so much emphasis on the word selective. You can't begin to imagine what special traits you have that career criminals would be interested in.
  59. “The work is quite easy. You see, our associates are interested in a very specific type of employee. With some help from us you'll fit the bill perfectly. All you've got to do is follows some simple rules and be yourselves. Assuming you perform satisfactorily, you may consider your debts repaid in full.”
  61. This is all starting to sound a bit strange to you, but you've got little other choice. Judging by the silence of the other guy, he's in much the same situation.
  63. “I knew you wouldn't be the type to throw away such a generous opportunity. All your problems will soon be behind you, don't worry. All that's left to decide is,” he stands up and cups his chin in his hand in a melodramatic effort to look thoughtful, “which of you is going to be first?”
  65. He produces a quarter from his jacket pocket and flicks it skyward, catching it in his palm as it returns.
  67. “Call it,” he gestures towards you.
  69. The bastard would put it all on you. You were never really the type to consider yourself lucky, but you suppose that by this point karma owes you at least a little bit.
  71. “Heads.”
  73. He opens his clenched hand towards you; George Washington's face greets you as he does.
  75. You're not sure whether to consider yourself the fortunate one or not.
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