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March 1st, 2022

Some shithole in west Boston

Cold ass morning




Boone's hand passed over several empty bottles on the floor, knocking one over in the process. Bingo. Lifting it up before the precious nectar spilled to high heaven, he swallowed what was left. Day old beer was crap. You know what was worse? No fucking beer at all. Boston was a shithole, this part of Boston anyway. No good booze, and the stupid propane heater had gone off sometime in the night. His couch and blankets weren't doing much to keep him warm. God damn fetch boy again. Nobody wanted to set foot on the west side. The east side? Decent, coming back to life. The west? Stunk like troll shit. Could be worse, he could be in fucking Ohio. That was literally troll shit.


His squat was pretty high up, had to hide his bike below though. Almost got bit once out in this direction by some fucking zombie that wandered into town. They were rare to see now this far into even basic civilization. Even then, getting almost bit when you were taking a morning piss was absolute fuckery. So, hideouts had to be a couple floors up. Even zombies bumped into crap, would wake him up, unless he was drunk as hell. That didn't happen enough lately.


Everything else, mmm... just the usual when Pharos had banished him into the middle of nowhere to grab some crap that was worth half a dime bag in New York. Trinkets. Trinkets because he'd been a little too frisky with the boss' daughter. That was what, three times this year he was demoted? Maybe it was because he simply didn't give a crap. It was worth it at the time. Freezing his ass off in the middle of a partially abandoned building waiting for a contact to show up made him question his path in life. Aw hell, nah. Being away from New York after what had happened was a vacation. While people were running around like a bunch of headless chickens, he had the skill and the balls to actually go out into the wild and look. For what? Something... closure. Aura was always a stuffy bitch... but he owed it to Cass to not stop looking. Cass was family.


The stupid pittance trinkets he'd been sent to snag he'd already gotten. Back to the almighty Pharos safe to protect the world from unsavory stupid crap. Leaving today would get him back in maybe a day.


Of course, when running for stupid shit he could be a little bit more nosy about non-stupid crap. Boston seemed to be the hot spot for non-stupid shit at the moment. There was something moving. Gears turned, no big deal. The trade was like a clock, his brain able to see the world move in patterns like nobody else could. It was a gift, and it was why he was still alive... that and he could talk his ass out of anything. And get shot. He got shot a lot. Getting shot was bullshit. He got shot more often than he probably should. Had to do with his smart mouth most of the time. He simply didn't like dicks. He wanted in, he wanted the deal, he wanted out. Everyone always had to try and screw somebody, like it even fucking mattered. Then, when he told them 'your mom', they usually shot him. They didn't like it when he insulted their mom.


Anyways... the gears had stopped, some even reversing direction. Enough to notice. Patterns had changed. He'd heard about the crazy shit in the trade west of New York. Per usual things ebbed and flowed and always found equilibrium again. This time? Crap was reversing direction. Now his contact... his contact had something different than the typical wanker magic toys. Something interesting that had been snagged in New York. Shit didn't come out of New York. It went into New York. Anything coming out of New York was hot, and expensive, and almost always stolen. And dangerous.


That interested him.




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Phone smacked several times on his palm. Stupid fucking cell reception. How long did it take to get tech back up and running anyway, for Christ’s sake. Stuffing it in the back pocket of worn jeans, he pulled his beat to hell fishtail parka on. Skullcap tight around his ears, off-white threadbare wool scarf hung loose, he closed the door on his humble and crappy temporary abode to rendezvous with this… idiot. They didn’t have the goods and normally he wouldn’t give them two shakes if they hadn’t any product, buuut the information was too good to let go of.


He let the bike warm up for a moment before moving off into the even bleaker parts of town, discarded cars and general fuckery reminding him more and more of the first months after everything went to shit.  Some places came back, some probably never would. Detroit was still the middle of the largest troll fuckery possible. He missed the place, it had its troubles but it was gorgeous and tough as nails. Renaissance before the world went to shit. He’d get back there someday.


Cutting the engine, he coasted a bit and came to a stop. Dumb fucking meet-up spot… stupid blind spots. Yah, they were going to shoot him. He was late. They were late. Of course they were late… the rack of a shotgun confirming they weren’t.


He chuckled, getting off the bike and kicking the stand. They were going to shoot him. One of these days it would be GREAT to be disappointed.


One came from the side, out of a trash coated alley, pointing the business end at his temple. The other, he didn’t know. Didn’t fucking care. Teenagers...ish?? Old enough to vote, not old enough to drink. Sheeeeeeesh....


“If we’re here to talk, why the shotgun?” he reached up and pushed it away like an annoying fly. It floated back up to his temple, the vicious side eye of the wildly unpredictable Pharos relic hunter pushing it away again.


*npc* “Because we heard you’re an asshole.”


He laughed out loud, putting his palm directly on the muzzle. It was a great belly laugh. He needed that.


The two were dressed like they had just stepped out of a post-apocalyptic movie, casting nervous glances toward each other. They were green as fuck.


He suddenly grasped the barrel, snapping it backward into the guy’s nose and pulled it out of his hands. It was cracked open casually as the gunman nursed a bloody nose. Relieving the shotgun of its shells, he tossed them over his shoulder, snapped it back together and handed it back.


“That’s so you don’t end up shooting someone in the dick. I’m bulletproof anyway dumbass.”


Lie. Lie. LIE!


He was only bulletproof when he wasn’t an idiot.


“You got information for me or not? I have cash, you have info.. you talk, I pay… ya dig it?”


The other had pulled a pistol. Fuck a duck. He put his palms up. Fine. Green ass mother fuckers with mama’s purse gun. What. In. The. World. Could. Go. WRONG!


“You talk… I pay. Ima gonna reach into my pocket now… don’t shoot,” he waved his hand at them as he reached into his coat pocket and pulled out a small bank zip bag and tossed it at him.


They checked it. Good. One lesson they learned.


*npc* “So… we got a tip that Pharos is dealing relics.”


Duh, he knew this. He was the fucker that was dealing Pharos relics. Meh, they were rinky dink party tricks. They’d never miss them anyway.


“I know this.”


*npc* “No, like… stuff Pharos gets from ARMA.”


Brow cocked slightly.


“Okay? How did you come across this awesome nugget of information…?”


*npc* “His brother, knows a guy that was running something out of New York. From ARMA, to Pharos, and out here to hook up with someone going overseas.”


“Did that your brother's sister's hair dresser's dog groomer's former roomate have a name?”


*npc* “Orvil.”


The relic hunter sucked his tooth a moment. Yahhhhh this was going to be a shitty day.


“Orvil? ...as in like, the popcorn?”


He nodded vigorously.


“Sorry about the nose kid, gotta go. Safety’s on by the way,” he said quietly and got on his bike, reaching into his pocket to pull out a second bag and toss it to the kid with the shotgun. The other was checking the safety on his gun. “Great info, there’s your tip not to tell anyone else. I mean it. Get some gun training peanut.”


The bike roared to life. This was a big problem. Orvil. Not Orvil a guy like they thought. Out in the bleak to someone who didn't know better, that was a bastardized OFL. ARMA relics were either going to Pharos, and Pharos to the Order, or they were getting fucked in between. This was not a flow of hand offs that spelled anything but bad, bad tidings. He had to bust out of his squat riki-tik and get back to New York. ARMA first. See his favorite doc. She’d either slap him or hug him. Always fun.

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