A Snake Bite

Julian stood in front of a screen in his personal cabin aboard the Cupid’s Cumulus flanked by two men dressed in all black. The ship was empty save for a few maintenance bots. They had been waiting for him to be release from custody and had accompanied him aboard. The ping from the screen indicating an INCOMING HOLOLINK turned his feeling of dread to panic as he scrambled to accept the call.

A man sitting crossed leg on a sofa filled his screen. Two barely dressed escorts lounged either side of him, clearly intoxicated. The man was dressed much in the same style as any Serpentis pirate would. An expensive three-piece suit with too many buttons popped open. The pirate was wearing tinted glasses and was rolling a cigar in his pearl white teeth.

“Juls! How was jail time?” He boomed, making Julian jump.

“I-I, it was…”

“’Thank you, Mr. Garcia, for paying my bail’ is what you’re meant to say Flavours”

“Tha… Thank you for p-paying my bail Mr. Garcia, I will pay it off as soon as I…”

“I have added it to the debt you already own me. With interest of course.” Pushing one of the escorts to the side, Diego Garcia lent forward. His expression changing with it. “Now explain to me what the ■■■■ happened?” he growled.

Julian proceeded to give his account from the start; his transit through smuggling lanes to Fountain. His meeting with Mr. Garcia’s associates and then finally the Federal Navy’s bust. The snake took a drag of his cigar listening intently, his expression glowing red to match his obvious mood.

“You see, Mr. Garcia, I’ve gained some notoriety and most of the time it gives this handsome chap…” he let out a nervous laugh “…Some cover. But these navy boys seemed quite interested in boarding, who was I to deny them a fun time?”

A silence hung in the air; Julian now drenched in sweat nervously moving side to side in hope of shaking off the anxiety. A person off screen passed the Snake a data pad and he began to type.

“You won’t be doing this again.” The Snake proclaimed, snapping his fingers. The two men grabbed Julian from either side. Holding his right hand in the air, one of them began to bend each of his fingers back, one by one. With each crack, Julian wailed in pain. He felt them let go and he tumbled to the ground with a thud.

“I have a task that I think is better suited to your skills” he points to the data pad “Have you read this on the forums? This Gosakumori Noh president nonsense? I want you to run against them. Bring that Celes woman in too if you can. Make as much noise about it as you normally do, got it?”

Julian nodded still clutching his mangled hand.

“Good” Mr. Garcia leant back, his expression reverting. “Do not disappoint me"

The screen flashes to a HOLOLINK ENDED. The silence now taken up by the ringing in Julian‘s ears, and pulsing in his hand.

“We’ll be back to see how you get on. Mr. Garcia doesn’t give second chances often.” The two goons laughed and left him to sob quietly in his cabin.


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