4th September 2071
There is no such thing as a milk run – that may be a cliché, but one you ignore at your own risk. When I looked over our job offers, I could see so many problems with each one of them. Holding people hostage for an undetermined length of time – that one was an instant no. Capturing a road train that had already been taken over by another runner team – not without a rigger on the team.
And then there was Private Puggles. 14k for kidnapping a pug. Only an idiot would assume that this would be as easy as the description made it sound, but we needed the money and it was the best of the three. No immediate problems came up when I asked for some more details, so we accepted. After some legwork we knew that Private Puggles belonged to Mr. Jameson, the most boring person imaginable who works for a data processing firm. He goes to work from nine to five and then takes Private Puggles for a walk. At ten in the evening, he goes to bed. That’s it, no private life or hobbies that we could see. The pug has a dog sitter who takes him for a walk in the morning.
We decided to steal the pug while he got taken for his walk in Squak Mountain because for long stretches, no-one else would be around. The dog sitter wasn’t much of a problem after a dose of narcoject and neither was Private Puggles – Lazy Dragon had conjured up a spirit who made him levitate. I had no intention of chasing a pug through the woods. While Ran kept an eye on the dogsitter, Lazy Dragon and I delivered the pug to our employer. A witch living on a dingy houseboat in Everett who seemed pleased to get her hands on the dog.
We went out for dinner and talked a bit afterwards at the apartment when someone rang the doorbell. Mr. Jameson had somehow found us and very calmly stated that we had his dog. I asked him in so he could convince himself that we did not, in fact, have the dog. Lazy Dragon took one look at him and informed me that we had messed with a free spirit. Which is in general a spectacularly bad idea.
I don’t see any reason to stay loyal to an employer who keep such crucial details about a job to herself, so I readily agreed to exchange 15k for the address of the witch who seemed to have some kind of history with Mr Jameson. Plus I handed him the 14k to give back to her. We agreed to mutually forget that we had met and we got paid after Jameson had called his bank to arrange overdrawing his account.
He was on his way out of the door when he turned back and said that someone has kidnapped his pug and maybe we could help? I told him that I had no idea who would do such a thing, but that for 25k, we would be happy to try and get the dog back. In the end, we agreed on 20k and Jameson’s help if or better when the witch would try to mess with us. I don’t know if this was the most intelligent course of action, but the money is too good to turn down. Or rather the jewels, because Mr Jameson and I made a pact and he more or less conjured up jewels from thin air. And yes, they do last and will not vanish at sunset.