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Showing posts from December, 2007

"Debt" Part 4 of 4

Freddy, their Met Police contact, turned out to be both their police contact and the right underworld contact. The bar was so smoky the patrons were never sure if they were with their friends or just high-backed chairs with some listening ability. Hank focussed on his drink. He didn't want to let it sink in that he had gotten involved with Sneezly. If there was one thing you wanted to avoid, it was getting on Sneezly's radar, because once you were on it, the only way to get under it was to go six feet down. And now he was at odds with Sneezly, it wasn't as if his Debt wasn’t a problem enough. The broad and her case were bringing all sorts of trouble Hank's way, the fact that he had predicted just this situation was as comforting watching a firing squad slowly load their weapons. Across the table, Freddy wiggled . "I don't know what that is, I don't know why she would want it." "She?" Hank gave an evil eye to the blur across the table. "

"Debt" Part 3 of 4

Hank's office looked like it had gotten in a scrap with a small bulldozer; and had lost badly - several times. His only two chairs smashed to pieces, taken apart in a frenzy of overzealous discovery. The air smelled of robot oil. The expensive kind you bought for large robots with impressive strength and limited morality subroutines. A robot that might have been able to leave a dent in a magtronic arcanium shelf. Sneezly Simpernel leaned against the desk. His robot goon sat on the ground, great big robot head sized holes in the ceiling were clues as to why. Sneezly looked at Hank and Greg with large watery eyes. In another life, those eyes might have looked at you evenly while the owner of said eyes muttered irregular income declarations and forensic accounting. But this wasn't another life. Hank took a slow breath. He had many ways to play this, but only one wouldn't get him killed immediately. He met Sneezly's gaze square, "Look here Mr. Simpernel, I've done

"Debt" Part 2 of 4

The next day the info was on the Desktop, a red folder that glowed and rotated. Hank tapped it twice, the holo-display paused for a brief second then opened the folder and tiled the icons: video, documents, contract papers, audio clips. It was the usual stuff: snippets of dialogue, fuzzy videos of the object in question. It was all useful as a wiffle bat to a mafia enforcer. That was OK though, he knew a guy who worked the graveyeard at the Metro Police evidence locker. Freddy was what the human race would have looked like if we had taken a hard left early in the evolutionary tree and evolved from an overly ambitious set of raisins. He was sunken and wrinkled, and had the air of not really caring about anything. He did everything like an afterthought, Hank could almost believe Freddy didn't love the ponies as much as he did. Greg kept lookout by pretending take himself offline for internal diagnostics. In the older models, such as Greg, it was expected (particularly anything from M

"Debt" Part 1 of 4

This is going to be a post of a short story I just finished for my critique group. It's a humourous sci-fi detective noir piece involving robots. Also, it gives me a few weeks where I don't have to think about what to post. Wheee! I hope you enjoy it. She walked in, more serious than a third heart attack with more curves than the back-streets of San Fran. She had a slink; a way of moving across the room that made every Tom, Dick and Harry eye her like their lives depended on it. Hank knew she was no good, rotten, down to the core; but he also knew he hadn't had a paying client in three months and a Debt whose financer had gone from Breaking Knee-caps Mad to Dispose of Through A Woodchipper Wrathful; besides with legs like hers, discretion went out the window like last week's newspaper. This was the problem of course. Every very major problem he'd had to shoot, beg, and drive very fast away from involved exactly this sort of dame. Greg beeped awake. His dull green bo

Christmas Family Letter 2007

Hey, all four of my blog readers out there! I know you are wondering what sort of perks you can get by reloading this page every week. What exclusive content can be gleaned from this lowly blog that you just can't get from offering me some gin and a friendly punch in the arm? Well, gentle readers, this is what you get, an (anonymized) copy of the Niteowl Family Christmas Letter! All for your greedy little eyes! Now stop pestering me! (jk! pester me! pester me!I need your attention! There are like, hundreds of millions of blogs out there, so thanks for browsing this one). Another year has come and gone in the land of rain and ridiculous real estate prices, and the Smiths haven't changed too much. Sometime around May or thereabouts, we moved from the wonderful and walkable West-City to the less walkable and sort of wonderful (but much more spacious) City East. We acquired a 3 bedroom townhouse through much hand-wringing and not a few close calls. We now have a stamp-sized backyar

People You Meet on Transit #2

The Uppity There are a certain class of people who take transit who either believe that they are Too Good for Transit, or else that I'm Only Taking Transit As A Stopgap. Maybe their errari is in the shop, maybe their Jaguar car-pool is experiencing a rough patch, or maybe their job as a mortuary transcriptionist doesn't pay as much as they think. They've deigned to wallow with the masses, as it were, muck about in the public transportation system and bear it. Hey, they might have a fun story to tell at their next Thomas Pynchon Book Club meeting. There are a few tell-tale signs of the Uppity Up. The first is that their clothes costs more than all the bus-riders clothes combined. The second is that they invariably take a seat, then decide that in order to block the great unwashed from sitting next to them and bathing them in body-odour and/or the overpowering vapours of cheap gin, they take up a whole 'nother seat with their bag. Now, it might be that their bag contains