Author : Roi R. Czechvala

They were on me like white trash on Velveeta. I knew being a courier was risky business, but damn these guys were playing for keeps, and all I had was this lousy Chicom .22 semi-auto. I was in deep kimchee.

I should have known this wasn’t a normal run when the download time was more than twice normal, not to mention that coppery taste it left in my mouth. Still, I wasn’t worried. I’m too slick, too cool. They can’t get me, I’m smarter than the badges. Yeah right.

Normally I carry numbers, our pirated software. I make it a point not to carry anything that will get me more than a fine and thirty days suspended. What was I carrying that was so damned important anyway? These guys weren’t cops, too professional. I had to get to the Fink.

Fink let me in. I collapsed in a shabby armchair. “Look man, I’ve got some heavy cryp here, and somebody wants it out of me in a bad way. I’ve got to know what it is, and get it the hell off me.”

“Relax man, relax, let the ol` Fink take a look.” he placed the reader on my hand and sat back at the console. He looked thoughtful for a moment, then his look became serious. “Get the hell out now. Don’t come back.”

“What the hell? What’s wrong?”

“That’s serious cryp, government stuff. You’re as good as dead. Don’t come back” He shoved me out in the street.

The Fink was my only hope. I didn’t have anybody else to go to. I was screwed. I couldn’t go back to my place.

Julie. I could hide out at Julie’s place until I could figure out what to do. She owed me. I’d pulled her ass out of the fire more than once.

She opened the door. “Bryan, you’re all wet.”

“It’s raining. Look, I’m in trouble, I’ve got some deep cryp, and somebody wants it in a bad way. I need a place to stay while I figure out what to do.”

She flung open the door to her dingy little one bed. “Get in here, and get out of those clothes, I’ll get something for you.”

She disappeared into the bedroom while I stripped down. “I really appreciate this, I went to see the Fink, and he tossed me out. You’re my only hope.” I turned around to see Julie standing with two human shaped blocks of granite. My little .22 wouldn’t even make these guys blink, besides it was in my wad of soggy rags.

“Sorry Bryan, they got here just before you did. A girl has to make a living you know.” She turned to one of the behemoths. “Okay, you got him, where’s my money?” she demanded. I could barely make out his hand move. I wonder if I’ll have that same look of surprise when they kill me.

The block stepped towards me. “Come with us Mr. Burroughs.”


At least they didn’t kill me. I have to be thankful for that. All in all, it could have been worse. Not too badly bruised up. The rocks were surprisingly gentle, all things considered. I hope I didn’t get the Fink in any trouble.

I guess have to find a new profession. That sucks, but I have to save up for a new hand. Good thing I’m a righty.

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