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Just a Delivery Boy
A courier run is usually less than five miles, but there are many threats along the way. The cops are the least of your problems, they generally just want a taste, or to feel like big shots, but they aren’t deadly; usually. You pop them a few snacks or you learn to run very fast.
Scouts and trappers, from other gangs, are constantly looking for couriers to snake some goods from. They will rob you but not kill you; an honor among thieves type situation. The Blackheads; are simultaneously deadly and sad. Desperate for a ticket to the black abyss, they will slit your throat and leave you in your own puddle of piss and blood. They are desperate beyond human understanding. They come back up from the deep of the Black Water. Sometimes something is left behind, memories, pains, maybe their humanity. The hunger to complete themselves, to return to the deep and find whatever was left there, will drive them mad. You can see a Blackhead coming from a kilometer away, dirty, broken, and babbling. The most dangerous, as you don’t always see it coming, is the dealers.
The dealers are all one bad day away from the slave pits themselves. Cross the gangs, come up short, or just sell to the wrong kid, and you’re fodder for the fights. Anyone with a little cred to burn can become a dealer. A new kid with sparkles in his eyes, trying to make a name for himself can make a fortune, or get in over his head quickly. One bad day, one dirty cop, one desperate Blackhead is all it takes to lose your investment.
You’re on a run to Seth-Sagan Cariglio; a long-time dealer and known to be well connected in the upper colors of the city. He saved you from pits, where the slave lords had you fighting dogs and Synthetic cats. Most of your pod-ken were intended as enforcement. Those that survive the purge ended up in hard labor, or as high-end tricks, but Cariglio knew you’d be perfect for his ops.
As you enter the bunker in the lower red commons, a broken and overpopulated section of the city with free water and feed, you feel a sense of home. You gained cognition in the Red Commons; this is your neighborhood.
The interior of the bunker belays its military exterior. No gilded trim, ornate fountains, or fine art, but a decent middle-class home, with a lived-in feel, toys on the ground, and slightly used furniture. Seth meets you with a warm hug and a quick polite grab of the backpack.
“KK, on time as usual. Is this a little light?” he asks stepping back and opening the pack.
“Ran into some cops, decided it was better to play nice than get charges,” you reply.
“That comes out of your snacks.”
You don’t like the idea of losing out just because some cops were looking for some fun, but you don’t want to get on Seth-Sagan’s bad side. He respects strength, you could stand your ground and make a counteroffer, but you know he also admires a businessperson that understands the cost of doing business. He’s dangerous but you wonder if he knows how dangerous you are.