By Tom Tinney
Sure, the hologram in the office door’s glass said “Detective Agency”, but my clients knew that it was just me and my office gal, Kinky (she’s an ex-holo-porn star). She was good looking, built like most men’s “dream girl” and just the other side of being in her prime. I was a decade past mine, an ex-officer in the Galactic Intelligence Special Investigations Service, more commonly called GISI’s. I was part of the interspecies crime division, but that career is long gone. No regrets. Well, not many.
My desk comm buzzed.
“Hey Redge, the Mick is here to see ya,” Kinky said. I looked at the front office security cam monitor and saw the Mick standing in front of Kinky’s glass topped desk. He was staring down through the glass at her long legs that led up to a short skirt. I couldn’t fault him. I was looking down past her “Cleopatra” style black haircut into Kinky’s magnificent cleavage. It had taken me three tries to get the cam in the right position and make sure those magnificent orbs made it into every shot.
I could see the Mick starting to shake with another round of his nervous ticks. He’d spent too many cycles prospecting outside the domes in a dated and patched O-Suit. His shakes were split between oxygen deprivation from his faulty equipment and persistent substance abuse.
“Send him in, Kink’s, and pull the M-card on the Lefsst job. We’re gonna bill the Mick’s fee to it,” I said. We didn’t put any cases on our network. We always put them on individual one terabyte M-cards. I kept them in my office safe sitting in a plastic bin, surrounded by a pound of military grade Mag-phosphor. If the sensor thresholds break, they would go up in a 2000 degree puff of smoke. I’d written that warning on the door of the safe, in red fingernail polish, next to a badly drawn skull and crossbones.
The Mick came in and stood in front of my desk. I’d have asked him to have a seat, but I knew he’d turn me down.
“Yeah, so, Redge I got… that info you was… looking for… You were on the wrong…lead. Big time… Not the mistress you…thought it was,” the Mick huffed as he spoke in broken Near English. It came out in the rhythm he used to breath in his dilapidated suit with its fifty-year-old oxygen scavenger.
“That’s why I commed you,” I replied. “I knew you’d get me back on track.” The Mick smiled at my confidence in his abilities. His eyes narrowed immediately.
“Yeah, well asking questions…got me noticed…I want to hit the ore field…soon. Real soon….The new info is gonna… cost you five-hundred creds.” He was a greedy little shit. He was also wired into the seedy underbelly of NewerYork and one of my better sources.
“Five-hundred? Screw that. Look, I’ll comp you, but the most I’d go is two-hundred…and I’ll call in a favor on that drunk and disorderly you got in the bowery. Get it dropped to time served. No fine and no probation. Deal?”
“Uhhh. Ok. Deal…Info is on this M-Card,” the Mick said and set it on my desk. I hit my comm.
“Hey, Doll, can you bring me a one time for two-hundred creds?”
Kinky came in with a B-card tabbed to two-hundred creds. I thumbed it and handed it back to her. The Mick smiled.
“Later, Redge,” the Mick said as he took the B-card from Kinky’s hand and turned to leave, smacking her on the rear as he quickly stepped out of her backhand’s range and through the door.
“Ya’re a creep, Mick! Do that again and I’ll cut that hand off and feed it ta ya,” Kinky yelled at the rapidly retreating footsteps. She could too.
“Hey, Kinky, I gotta go check out a couple of things. Can you comm Madam Lefsst to meet me here about 17:30?”
“Hmmm, sure thing Redge. Ya mind if I take a long lunch? I need ta take care of some things myself,” Kinky asked, batting her beautiful blue eyes at me and leaning over my desk.
“Um..uh..sure. Long as you need, “ I heard myself say. Man, she was a work of art.