***Written for 2014 Pod and Planet Fiction Contest

***Based on a true story

Scrawled on rumpled note: Wrangled up an Orca.  Favorite Haunt Bar & Bistro, 9:00 PM.  Find Chella Ranier.  Intimidating brunette.  Can’t miss her.

SoTragic enters the establishment, spies his contact leaning in shadow at the far end of the bar, whispers: Intimidating indeed.

>>><<<

SoTragic, extending right hand drink: I’m told we have business to conduct.

Chella Ranier, accepting drink, sliding contract down bar with other hand: Yes we do.

SoTragic, approving contract with DNA thumbprint: So completes the transaction.

Chella Ranier, jiggling ice in drink: You’re not going to inspect the merchandise?

SoTragic, sipping left hand drink, returns unexamined contract: Carting out to Rens 6-8 in person displays good faith on your part.  Only reasonable I reciprocate by accepting the contract proffered.  Where be the brokers of this terribly important exchange?

Chella Ranier, sipping her drink: There, window table, still picking at dessert and haggling detail.

SoTragic: Perky looking duo.  Shall we eavesdrop?

Chella Ranier: Let’s.

>>><<<

DireNecessity, shaking finger scoldingly: You’ll sell me the Orca at market value plus unreasonable mark-up and you’ll feel smug about it because that’s what civilized capitalists do.

Sugar Kyle, squinting crossly: Watch who you brand ‘civilized’ Hi-Seccer.

DireNecessity: While I resemble that label, know that I have murdered pilots for less flippancy.

>>><<<

Chella Ranier: Appears haggle has escalated, I hear murder talk.

SoTragic: Shall we intervene?

Chella Ranier: Let’s.

>>><<<

Chella Ranier, approaching table, places the contract before Sugar Kyle while SoTragic, standing on the other side, rests a loyal no drink hand on DireNecessity’s shoulder.

DireNecessity: Pater!  I see you’ve met Chella.  Allow me to introduce Sugar Kyle, lowsec pirate, interstellar politician, former Orca owner.  Sugar Kyle, I present SoTragic, gray haired family patriarch, logistics wizard, Orca pilot.

Sugar Kyle nods greeting to SoTragic, pushes contract across table: Dire, as you can see the sale is complete.  Market value 700 million plus .01 ISK markup.

DireNecessity: That’s definitely an unreasonable markup.  So we’re literally arguing over a penny?

Sugar Kyle: Yes Dire, yes we are.  While we can stipulate the contract include ‘unreasonable markup’, you alone don’t get to define what the term means.

>>><<<

SoTragic, early next day, watching DireNecessity nurse morning coffee: Don’t you look chipper.

DireNecessity, smiling impishly: Just slipped an extra 100 mill directly into Sugar’s wallet.

SoTragic: Well you showed her.

DireNecessity: I certainly did.  No one unreasonably undercharges me.

>>><<<

Chella Ranier, that afternoon, departing Rens: New boat?

Sugar Kyle: Phobos.  Full fit.

Chella Ranier: Has he a name?

Sugar Kyle, smirking: Dire’s Conceit.

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