Friday, October 6, 2023

Microstory 1990: True to One’s Word

Generated by Google Workspace Labs text-to-image AI software
Freeman 1: Hey, thanks for meeting me, man.
Reese: Yeah, no problem. It’s been a long time. What’s up?
Freeman 1: Well, this is sort of awkward.
Reese: Go ahead, dude. No judgments.
Freeman 1: Well, it’s just that...a few months ago, you became bonded to our group of freemen, and that was great. I mean, we don’t regret it. But since then, you haven’t really, ya know, fulfilled your obligations, you know? Like, we helped you find that escapee, and then you and Myka just disappeared. You changed your number?
Reese: Yeah, it was this legal thing. We’ve all kind of had to leave our old lives behind. I’m really sorry, though; that wasn’t cool.
Freeman 1: What exactly have you been up to? A few of the other freewomen are gone too, but they’re not dead; they still see their families. Honestly, we are all kind of worried about you, but you don’t look dead either.
Reese: You’re right, I screwed up. Uhh...I can’t tell you what we’ve been doing. We got in trouble with the government, so we’re working on that.
Freeman 1: You look free to me.
Reese: Different kind of trouble. Mixed up with them is probably a better way to put it.
Freeman 1: I see.
Reese: But I’m here now. Let’s bump phones so you can have my new number. Do you need anything today?
Freeman 1: *scratching the back of his neck* Actually we do. Well, I do.
Reese: Remember, I can’t do anything illegal for ya. Though, I think I may be able to skirt the rules for you now. I’m kind of in a better position than I was before. It’s all really complicated and weird.
Freeman 1: I’m glad to hear you say that, because it’s definitely on the outskirts.
Reese: Just ask, friend.
Freeman 1: I’m trying to buy a house. I...I got a girl pregnant, and I have to provide for them. The only job I could get pays pretty well, but it’s all under the table. That makes applying for a loan pretty difficult. I would get a different job, but no one wants to hire an ex-con, especially one who was locked up for aggravated assault and armed robbery. Big surprise, I know. I have a connection at the bank, but even he won’t just give me the loan outright. *pauses again*
Reese: What does he need?
Freeman 1: Look, I don’t know what you’re doing, but by mixed up with the government, it’s pretty clear you’re saying that you’re employed by them, in some different capacity than before. You don’t have to tell me what it is, but it would really help me out if you could pose as my employer. Just say I bring you coffee or dry-cleaning, that would be enough. It just has to be from a reputable company. I dunno, is this even possible?
Reese: What do you do for a living? Are you fulfilled? Are you being exploited?
Freeman 1: Courier work. No. And probably.
Reese: Let me make a call. Let’s not fake a job. Let’s get you a real one.

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