Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Microstory 1978: Alleged Smuggler

Generated by Google Workspace Labs text-to-image AI software
Leonard: Are you Moenia?
Moenia: Yo, who’s askin’?
Leonard: We’re friends of Becca’s.
Moenia: Yeah, she mentioned she had a new crew. She told you about our dead drop?
Leonard: She told us you could help us. She said you were her most trusted smuggler.
Moenia: Alleged smuggler.
Leonard: Right. Well, we need to get across the border.
Moenia: How far across, copper?
Leonard: Not a cop. And it depends on how safe it is on the other side of the first one.
Moenia: Not very, I always say. You wanna be safe, you get yourself all the way into Kentucky. Or Missouri, if you’re in a bigger hurry.
Ophelia: We a hurry, that is.
Moenia: *nods* She tell you my usual fee?
Ophelia: Becca said nothing, but money is no object. It may just be...a bit delayed.
Moenia: I don’t deal in money, I deal in favors. I’ll take you with me. I’ll carry you all the way to Dexter or Poplar Bluff. Once there, we’ll part ways, but one day, I’ll call upon you, and you can’t refuse me. I don’t care if I’m askin’ you to kill the National Commander of the United States, you answer that call, no questions asked.
Leonard: We’re not going to—
Moenia: It won’t be that. It won’t be anything that ridiculous. I use that as an example, because you’ll be takin’ a huge risk, accepting my help. It may be somethin’ you don’t wanna do, or it may be as simple as tying my shoes for me. Now that is a favor that I actually did call in. It’s worse than it sounds. That was four years ago, and word is, the dude is still scared out of his mind that it meant more than how it looked on the surface. He ain’t slept right since. That’s the gamble. I know within five minutes of meeting someone what kind of favor to ask them. You need to be prepared for that.
Ophelia: We’ll take it. Get us to Missouri.
Moenia: That guy’s been quiet. What’s his deal?
Ophelia: Oh, him? He’s not allowed to talk.
Vogel: Not true.
Ophelia: *slaps him in the head* Shut up. *to Moenia* Three tickets, please.
Moenia: Three tickets, three favors.
Leonard: *looks down at Vogel* Well...
Moenia: Favors are transferable. He looks to be your prisoner, which means he could be dead by the time I need to collect, so I’ll let you do whatever it is in his stead. Deal?
Vogel: I have a better deal. I’ll give you four favors, you kill these two yahoos, and take me over the border instead.
Leonard: She told you to shut up.
Moenia: Now hold on a minute, let me think about it.
Ophelia: Moenia, don’t do this. Becca will not be pleased.
Moenia: I’m just playin’ witchya. Just make sure to keep him quiet. We’re headed into dangerous territory. The Mississippi border is even worse than the rest of it.

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