Endika Ofeo

Wheeling and Dealing

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Dika huffed as he sat down on a park bench and pulled out his phone, opening up the GPS map. He didn't know Brooklyn as well as he did Manhattan, and was definitely going to need a map to navigate the piers. He knew the parks dotted the piers and he would be relatively safe sticking to the well-lit walkways there. He shuddered as his phone loaded the directions; hating having to be out at night after the Blood Moon incident, especially in Brooklyn, and especially without much safety measures or protection with him. He knew that's what the trip was for, a vehicle and a weapon; having decided he needed them in light of recent events. He knew he'd feel better once he had them, but it was the now that bothered him; the pre-weapon and pre-getaway-vehicle that had him skittish. He sighed as he stood, his phone lighting up the path and even loading a little ETA clock in the corner. Half an hour, Dika sighed. A ten minute drive with the light traffic without the vehicle he was going to get would now be three times as long with him walking, he could maybe shave off a few minutes taking the F train, but not by much. He decided to tuck his phone away, he knew the general direction and preferred to save the charge for the time being, and headed off.

 

*                             *                             *

 

Finally, Dika had arrived; or so he thought. It was a plain and simple warehouse, indistinguishable from the dozen or so others around him. He had saved the location to his GPS map and it said he was there, so Dika tucked his phone away and started looking for an entrance. After walking around the front, the long left side, and the back, he saw it: a no-nonsense door barely lit by a sconce light jutting out from the wall just above it, giving off just enough light to show the dirty alleyway. The back alleys and criminals of the neighborhood weren't his cup of tea, but this was where the agent he was looking for was; so there was no backing out now. Dika steeled his nerves and walked down the alleyway and up to the door; stopping and turning as he got to it. He inhaled deeply and pounded on the door gruffly; hoping it made him sound rugged and intimidating, like he actually belonged here. His resolve wavered a bit as he waited for an answer.

 

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Da’fuq?

 

Shit!  Had he forgotten a drop?!  A pick up?!  A meeting?!

 

Eyes blinked open, heels into the sleepy orbs to clear them out.  What time was it?  What DAY was it?  Sitting upright on his couch, he wavered a bit.  He was sober.  No bottles anywhere.  TV was on.  Yes, definitely sober.  Eyes flicked to the clock, he’d just fallen asleep. Nap?  When the hell had his ass started taking naps?  Cripes, he was getting old or something… fingers ran through his hair to calm the absolute dumpster fire of curls.  He was presentable, his living quarters in the corner of the warehouse was presentable as always.  For a rough and tumble brute he took pride in his place,. the rest of the small warehouse? Tables and niches of guns and bikes in various stages of whatever. Himself?  Khakis, his out on the job shit kickers, button down still rolled up to his elbows. Leather vest was a bit cock-eyed.  Shrugging it up, he got up…  pausing.

 

Wait.

 

Not a drop.  Not a pick-up. Not a meeting.  Shiiiiiiit….

 

Eyes flicked at the door, hands immediately reaching under the couch to snatch his favorite boomstick of late, racking it in one hand with a quick jerk.  Moving quietly to the door he paused again. He had a peep hole for a reason…. Unannounced?  It was an invitation to get your eye shot out when you looked, and not by something as harmless as a BB gun.

 

So. Ballsy it was.  Door unlocked, he opened it slightly, shotgun out of sight behind the door in his other hand.

 

He knew this guy, had seen him around. Pharos. Okay, so maybe not the apocalypse.  Act cool. Act cool. His brain was a screaming fit of Ackbar “It’s a TRAP!”

 

[boone]How’s it going?[/boone]

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Dika had no idea how it was going, he just knew he wanted to be out of the alleyway and inside. He'd have preferred his own home, but a fellow agent's would have to do for now, he figured. Dika assumed that this would be a good time to use his ID, so he reached into his inside breast pocket and pulled out his badge wallet and showed it to the man.  [dika]"I'm from Pharos, and I hear you're the man to go to for motorcycles and shotguns, can I come in?"[/dika]   Dika was hoping that the credentials bought him some sort of merit, he'd need it in order to get what he was looking for.

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The man’s reach toward a pocket almost brought the shotgun out on point, a meld of flesh over his chest turning to something other than skin undetected under his shirt.  Going for a gun?  A gun that close firing a bullet at his sternum would have ricocheted in a particularly nasty way- not to the other guy’s advantage… of course he was assuming anyone would be stupid enough to pull a gun on him.  Odds of late weren’t in his favor.

 

҉   "I'm from Pharos, and I hear you're the man to go to for motorcycles and shotguns, can I come in?"   ҉

 

Eyes squinted at the presented formality.  ID.  Ah yes, they all had that. Crap, where was his?  Was he supposed to show it back to him or something?  Did they have a secret handshake?  He knew there were protocols, but he was out in the field so much he just didn’t see his use for them, hence why he was always in trouble with someone or other.

 

Quick look right and left out the door brought a nod and the door opened all the way, shotgun in his other hand now painfully obvious.

 

[boone]Seems like you’ve come to the right place..[/boone] he nodded.  [boone]Always available to help out a colleague.[/boone]

 

He had to control the squeefullness….. he loooooooved talking shop.  And building things. And building badass things.  He took a step to the side to allow the man in.  It was an odd building, but a beautiful one at that to those that loved to build things.  The right corner was a well maintained, and rather fashionable living space complete with a partitioned personal area.  Everything else around that consisted of various bikes and firearms in various stages of construction across tables and open spans of concrete floor.  It wasn’t a huge warehouse, but it wasn’t small by any means either.  He disarmed the monster he was holding and placed it on the rack next to the door.

 

[boone]Fast, loud, powerful?  What are you looking for?[/boone]

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Dika looked around at the workshop/living quarters and was satisfied with what he saw. This was a place of hard work, of no-nonsense love for the hard work, and of good work too, it seemed to Dika as he looked around at everything.

 

Dika turned to face Boone and introduced himself before he jumped into shop talk.  [dika]"I am Dr. Ofeo, but there's no need to introduce yourself Boone; your reputation precedes you."[/dika]   Dika said this with a small smile, as it was true that Boone had quite the reputation around Pharos; it varied a little from person to person, but none of it was terribly flattering. Dika found an empty worktable and set his briefcase down, snapping it open and pulling out two manila envelopes. He closed the briefcase, set one down on top of it, and opened the other one. 

 

Dika began pulling out photos and spreadsheet comparisons, all labelled boldly with 'ZERO' or 'VICTORY'. Dika began to explain;  [dika]"In 2010, before the event, Zero and Victory were the two premiere manufacturers of electric motorcycles. They were basically neck-and-neck for a while in terms of production quality and customer satisfaction. Zero decided to start heading in the direction of unique innovation while Victory went towards creating a motorcycle that most closely mimicked the classic bikes in terms of form and function. Rumor has it that the plans were as follows: Zero was going to create something totally new and unique for the electric bike owner while still delivering a great in-city ride while Victory was headed towards some amazing developments in energy-efficiency allowing for a true-blue totally electric touring motorcycle. It's pretty wild isn't it? The problem is, the companies were so small that now they've gone under. I have some notes here on what seem to be early brainstorms for their ideas, and I'd like to go over them with you to create something awesome. A totally unique, beautifully styled, very functional and long-lasting electric motorcycle. What do you think?"[/dika]

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Hands slid into his pockets as the guy looked around.  He said he wanted to talk shop but it seemed a bit formal.  Inspection maybe?  They never came here. Ruh-Roh Raggy…. fuuuuuck….

 

  ҉   "I am Dr. Ofeo, but there's no need to introduce yourself Boone; your reputation precedes you."   ҉

 

That probably wasn’t a good thing… he wasn’t particularly liked unless someone needed to get shit-storm drunk, needed a scapegoat, a laugh, something fetched…  essentially he wasn’t liked until someone needed something.  They all knew he could deliver, just didn’t particularly like his brand of ‘fuck off’ humor.

 

The briefcase….eeeeep.  He had one when he polished up and became a ‘real boy’.  It had business in it.

 

Wait, was this really a job and not a trap?  Could be a demotion, but they usually brought him in to give him a good ass chewing which always seemed to end in him shrugging and them getting even more pissed. He could fetch anything, and was fearless in doing so.  They knew what they had in him, and he was the proverbial punching bag for their frustration.  He didn’t care, it made for good fodder to bitch about at his pub.

 

The pics though, caught his eye, narrowing slightly as he followed along.

 

Arms folded over his chest, a particularly serious expression for his features.  He was thinking furiously.  Interesting prospect.

 

[boone]What would you need it for?[/boone]

 

It was the ultimate question.  In the city, fuel was relatively accessible- so was electricity.  In the field?  Fuel was tough to find unless you knew the haunts, electricity even more difficult.  BUT, you could harness solar.  Question was again…. what would he need it for?

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Dika noticed that Boone was listening, and he hoped that he had piqued the man's interest. He spread the print-outs more on the table as Boone thought.

 

[boone]What would you need it for?[/boone]

 

Dika looked back up at Boone with a confused look on his face.  [dika]"For driving? I need to get around and walking and public transit isn't quick or reliable enough anymore. Plus if I get sent out into the field for a mission; I need a mode of transportation."[/dika]  

 

Dika went back to the stack of papers and pulled out a stapled packet.  [dika]"This is everything that I'm looking for, and the technology developments that were reaching each individual goal by themselves pre-event."[/dika]  

 

Dika flipped to a page and pointed to everything as he spoke, indicating where all of the research was located.  [dika]"This was technology that was almost completed, it was something about charging the battery while coasting. If I can explain it correctly, when you accelerrate the battery activates, powering the bike. When you stop accelerrating and just coast, the bike acts like a generator and minorly charges the battery again as it's coasting. It's pretty genius because long-distance trips become much more feasible then. This is a display and control center telling you when you're using battery, when it's coasting and charging, battery life, and the like. There are even two settings, one allowing for lower battery usage, slower speeds, you know city trips. The other higher speeds, more battery life, but those fun little hit-the-road-hard-and-fast kinds of trips. These are connectable add-ons that quickly secure to the main body of the bike and are seamlessly integrated into the design to maintain form and function. Each of them was going to be able to be customizable, this much space for storage, this much for battery life, and so on and so forth. This is a detachable power-pack that can connect straight to the main bike with a contact or corded interface. It also easily plugs into any power outlet and charges just like a laptop computer; simple and efficient. This is a compactable solar generator that can harness and convert enough energy to keep me going on the road with no access to electricity; I know it's a problem in regions that haven't been re-developed yet. That is the main functionality ideas and schematics; but let's move on to the fun and exciting stuff, the stuff that hopefully will convince you to do this project."[/dika]  

 

Dika flipped a page and simply handed the packet over to Boone.  [dika]"That is a drawing I had an intern do for me; of the overall look and design of the bike. It's hot isn't it? Sleek, streamlined, badass-looking! Also, purple and black have always excited me, so that's the look I went for. He did some fun little flame decals on some of the mock-ups but I'm not a fan. He was, so I agreed with him but please don't add those. Finally, if you flip to the last part; the technology that Zero was developing for it's new line. I don't know how much of it you can understand since it is more sound engineering than anything, so let me explain. Basically what it all boils down to is that the engine, instead of sounding like a motorcycle or any kind of fancy combustion engine or even silent like other electric vehicles; it's designed to sound like a jet engine. I don't really understand it, but I assume if you worked with a sound engineer and looked over the schematics, you could figure it out, yeah? What do you think?"[/dika]  

 

Dika ended his little presentation with a flourish of open arms, hoping the concept was impressive enough for him to take it on. No one was making Boone do this, Dika certainly didn't have the authority to do so; or even ask someone else to do so. This was a gamble, he knew; but he was hoping it paid off.

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"For driving?”

 

The laugh was amused, truly…  For.  Driving…. duh.  Damn…  be nice to coworkers.  Face instantly pulled back to serious.  Had this guy ever been in the field???  Eyes went to the packet…  paperwork.  Blarg.  He was a pencil pusher by day, mad scientist by night, could do every sort of calculation in his head that could ever be needed.  Packet….  ughhh.  It was like middle school homework all over again.  But, probably useful, so he put on his attentive face and tuned back in.

 

…were reaching each individual goal by themselves pre-event."   ҉

 

That got his attention.  Interesting.  Tech that didn’t exist yet, still in pieces on the verge of awesome.  He was listening.  One of his eyebrows was starting to quirk, visions of sugarplums, zombies and werewolves dancing in his head.  Trolls wouldn’t wait for you to charge your battery as you coasted, and a good old Detroit steel vehicle could be put back together with bubble gum and duct tape…. no lie.  Microchips and interface?  Generators? What if it cracked?  He wasn’t sure how any of this would work in the field, reliably anyway.  His skepticism was his main strength… sometimes it pissed people off, but his devil’s advocate doubt often led him to solve his own impossible problems.

 

Thumbs tapped on his biceps as he thought.

 

Grab the packet Boone.  Fuck…  social skills.  He flipped through it, cocking his head at some of the pictures like he was looking at a Playboy centerfold… to him, this shit kinda was.  Jet engine?  He sighed slightly.  He was going to have to drag this guy into the field…  deep into the heart of Ohio.  The part of Michigan nobody wanted and completely infested with Trolls. 

 

His brows quirked skeptically over the paper he was looking at as the presentation ended.

 

[boone]I think it’s fucking crazy.[/boone]

 

He scratched the back of his neck.

 

[boone]Impossible.  Will probably be loud enough to get you killed by a Troll, will most likely break when you’re being chased by a Were.[/boone]

 

Lips pursed.

 

[boone]It’s fucking crazy, I love it.  Let’s do it.[/boone]

 

He was about ready to start hopping up and down and clapping his hands together.  If this was any indication of the scope of project this guy wanted, he couldn’t wait to see what he had in mind for the boomsticks.

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Dika's brow furrowed. The man was ready to jump up for joy and his mouth followed, going faster and faster the more excited he got. Dika shook his head and held his hand up to stop Boone. Dika thought carefully before he spoke, going slowly and carefully; making sure what he was saying was what he meant to say.  [dika]"It isn't crazy. With the right team and equipment it's not only plausible it's feasible! With access to the right labs and tech guys, it's totally do-able. I appreciate your excitement, but if you don't think it will work; I can take the project elsewhere. I know we can do this, and I hope you see that. If your enthusiasm is just for the project's explosion in my face, then I would rather find someone else to do it."[/dika]   Dika thought for a moment before adding  [dika]"Although you and I both know they'd be less qualified for the job, they'd have to do."[/dika]   Dika was being crude in his affront, but he knew that he needed dedication to really make this work. It was a fever dream of a time long in the past, and the reviival of it took him some legwork; much less having it come to fruition. Dika needed someone to support him while he led the charge; or better yet to lead the charge themselves. What he didn't need was a second-guessing lieutenant bemoaning the failures. Dika wasn't sure if that was Boone's goal, so he threw in the empty threat of finding someone else, and added the 'most qualified' compliment in as the cherry on top. English may not be his forté but ass-kissing was a universal language, one he knew well.

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There were many things the Irish brute didn’t do, get excited, talk fast or jump for joy- at least when he wasn’t kicking somebody’s ass, were among them.  Odd response from the guy, maybe he was a stiff and didn’t understand snarkasm.  The often demoted Pharos did however, pass off a quirked brow as he got the hand. Oh hell no….  Last time someone gave him the hand, he broke it.  Of course, the guy he’d done the deal with had sent goons to take the piece back after the pseudo-Colossus had paid for it and it was necessary… but still… brow quirked at him.

 

   ҉   "It isn't crazy. With the right team and equipment it's not only plausible it's feasible!

 

Brow quirked higher.  No shit, he wouldn’t have been interested if he didn’t think it was.

 

“With access to the right labs and tech guys, it's totally do-able. I appreciate your excitement, but if you don't think it will work; I can take the project elsewhere. I know we can do this, and I hope you see that. If your enthusiasm is just for the project's explosion in my face, then I would rather find someone else to do it."   ҉

 

The brute scratched the back of his neck with a “hm”, [boone]I don’t work with labs, or tech guys.  I work alone…. ish…[/boone]

 

His head hurt.  He was still drunk.... fuuuuck...

 

This was why he hated the Pharos offices.  Teamwork… yayyyyy.  If this guy started to insist on ice breakers and trust falls he was going to puke… His colleagues either hadn’t told this guy his full reputation, or the guy just didn’t care.  Or, they were fucking with the off duty accountant.  He would get them back later. 

 

He needed a beer.   More than a beer.  A beer would have to do.

 

Stepping away as the guy was still talking, he popped open the stainless steel fridge and pulled something out, snapping off the cap with a sleek bottle opener on the marble countertop and taking a long drink, pulling another out to return to the pitch.

 

   ҉   "Although you and I both know they'd be less qualified for the job, they'd have to do."   ҉

 

[boone]Shit’s gonna blow up… especially when you’re pro-typing.  It always does.  You gotta be ready for it to fail before it works.  You gotta be ready for the other guys to quit when it does.[/boone]

 

He took another drink, the unopened bottle tapping on the side of his knee a moment before setting it on the table.

 

[boone]Question is… are you ready for me to make it work?  ‘cuz it’s gonna work, but I think you already knew that.[/boone]

 

He placed the beer on the table, sliding it toward the man with his pointer finger before taking another swig of his own.  He didn’t make deals over schematics.  Hell, he didn't make deals sober.

 

[boone]You seem to know a bit about me....  Other than me being a dick and getting myself habitually demoted, do you know what I really do for Pharos?[/boone]

 

It was extremely relevant.  He went into BFE, made deals, made more deals with ass kissers, and kicked their ass when they inevitably tried to dick him over… and occasionally got bit by zombies… shot at, punched, stomped on by trolls…

 

You know, fun stuff.

 

Question really was, did this guy know what he was getting into?  Making deals with a toasted Irishman.

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Dika ignored the drink for the moment. He appreciated the offer but would prefer to toast to a new partnership on the project; not share a beer with the ass treating him like an idiot.  [dika]"Escuchame,  Agent Fitzpatrick I don't care what you do for Pharos; and I'm not really here to find out. I'm here to get the best of the best to work on this, and you are at the top of the list. You're right, I know this can work with the right parts and people I could eventually get it off the ground and in working order, but I need it to work perfectly and to be the best. I need someone, specifically you, who will be able to make this work and get it all put together; because you are the only one around that can help me pull this off. I don't even care if you do want to work alone, if that's how you work then that's how you work. I pulled together the research and Pharos gave me a list of folks you can refer to for the extra bits you aren't an expert on; sound engineers, computer technicians, and the like."[/dika]

 

 

Dika flipped through the pages and pulled out two sheets, laying them on top of the pile.  [dika]"There's the reference list and here is the approval needed for any resources you would need. It's all right there for you, should you choose to take it on. The thing is, I'd really like to be involved. You might think I'm some stuffed-shirt from the library, and to be honest I kind of am; but this project is my baby, and this bike is my dream. I may not be able to help much, but I want to help as much as I am actually able. I'm asking for your help, burocrático crap or not."[/dika]

 

 

Dika picked up the beer, twisted off the cap, and offered it up to meet Boone's. [dika]"Deal?"[/dika]

 

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He listened again to the request for help… this guy really had a hard-on for this bike.  The currently demoted Pharos was sought out a lot for assistance, he usually told them to fuck off.  This guy was lasting longer than most, the project interested him when so few rarely did.  He took another drink, brow cocked at him in the odd questioning that made him so unpredictable.  Fingers rifled through the mop that really needed a haircut to continue to pass believably through the white collar world he navigated in by day.

 

Why did this guy want this so badly?  Why did he not care what the Irishman did for Pharos?  He should, tangling business with the resident troublemaker could tarnish a career.

 

I’ll tell you what I do for Pharos anyway, probably will get me demoted again… but I’m gonna be honest because most people will just try to bullshit you…

 

He shrugged, it was relevant.

 

I am everything you’ve heard, good and bad.  I’m the guy they don’t want influencing the good agents.  But, I go out to places nobody is willing to…. it’s a fucking shit-storm out there…  I fetch dangerous stuff in dangerous places and shoot dangerous crap in the face.  I get in trouble, I tell my superiors to fuck off, get demoted… reprimanded… but they keep me around because I will do all the things they ask without complaint.

 

He finished the bottle and clinked it on the table, the rough and tumble Irishman was actually being serious.

 

I’ve seen you around.  You’re a nice guy, you’re new, to me anyway… shiny.  You’ve had people send you to me, which means now you and I are connected in their minds.  I just want you to understand what you’re getting into.  I’m their fetch boy.  This screams more than just a bike to tool around town in…it has potential to be sent out into the deep field and you with it.  Believe it or not I care about what happens to you. I want to keep you alive, and I don’t want to ruin your reputation with mine.  I don’t give a shit about mine, I’ve made my bed.  This kind of tech, ideas… you have a great future with Pharos and I don’t want to see it snuffed by dying bloody in the middle of nowhere because this type of tech could get you deeper into the wild than any gas guzzling beastie.

 

He retrieved another beer. This was going to be a six-pack day… he just knew it.

 

If you’re okay with the expectations  and needy bullshit they might put on you because of this… I’m game.

 

This guy was passionate about his ideas.  He could respect that.

 

Plus this thing will be a fucking chick magnet.

 

Eyebrows flicked upward once in a surly grin as he finished his sentence.  Chick. Magnet.

 

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Dika nodded and sipped his beer as he listened. Boone was game, and that was what he needed. He appreciated the protective sentiment, buried as it was. Eventually Dika was hoping to take the bike to a few Mages and get it tweaked and tuned in other ways that may help with the concerns Boone was thinking of; but for now getting it put into existence was the goal. Dika returned Boone's wanton grin in kind; adding  [dika]"Actually, it would be used more as a dick magnet, but you've got the right idea."[/dika]

 

Dika took a large swig of the beer and set it back down on the counter, re-organizing the papers and began to put them away.  [dika]"So, when can we start and where are we headed?"[/dika]   Dika finished his file shuffling and picked the beer back up, drinking a bit while he waited for the expectedly long answer.

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He could feel the phone buzzing in his back pocket as his eyes scanned everything that had been laid out, brain already ticking.  The notification stopped.  Taking another drink, it buzzed again.  Fuck.  He had most definitely missed something. A meet-up.  That crazy ugly ass charm that had almost gotten him killed several months earlier if he’d not called in an Arma favor.  He was going to have to wiggle his ass out of this one, technically…. he’d been shot over this thing so they owed him.  They were probably not going to agree, they didn’t have to agree…  the fucker had shot him. Double pay.  They could wait.

 

"Actually, it would be used more as a dick magnet, but you've got the right idea."

 

He choked slightly on his beer, swallowed down hard as the crinkles next to his eyes perked in a rather naughty smirk and he raised the bottle in acknowledgement.  This guy had sass.

 

"So, when can we start and where are we headed?"

 

“Let me call in a few favors, I can pretty much get my hands on anything.  Gotta clear a space in here, check on the…”  eyes followed something on the ceiling, the place was grounded and had a substantial alarm system- illegal activities and all.  His jump to take on a completely crazy project had left out a few details.  He liked machines, electrical was secondary.  The stuff he got pumped on was all mechanical and shit, very few electrical components…. it was why he liked a good old fashion build.  He was not exactly sure how working on something with this kind of tech was going to impact HIM, and whether or not it would be dangerous for his companion here.  He was a walking lightning rod…

 

Phone was suddenly snapped out from his back pocket… he was annoyed with the continuous calling.  Phones were a fucking ball and chain, yet necessary.

 

“If I don’t pick up… it means I’m not available dipshit,” …brow frowned.  “No… yes… Fuck off.”

 

It snapped closed and slid back into his pocket. 

 

“Let me clear a work space… there are some modifications I need to make here to ensure safety.  Electricity and I sometimes don't mix."  He didn’t give a shit about his safety… really.  He just didn’t want to blow this guy up.  Pharos would probably frown on that.  Yup.  That would probably be more than another demotion.  “Call in a few favors.  Tomorrow.  We can start tomorrow.”

 

Cheshire Cat grin preceded the last tip of the bottle, phone snapping out again to make a few calls.

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Dika finished his beer with a smile on his face. It was happening; finally happening! All of his hard work would soon pay off! Dika set the bottle down on the counter and picked up his briefcase. As Boone finished one call and began to dial the next, he seized his opportunity to give him a quick  [dika]"Thank you!"[/dika]   with a handshake. He turned and walked to the door, bracing himself to head back out into the shady neighborhood at an even later hour than before. He really couldn't wait to get this bike, he'd feel a lot safer. Tomorrow, Dika reminded himself. Tomorrow.

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