Code of Ethics

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Ship's Pilot

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Joined: Wed Nov 13, 2013 10:25 am

Location: IC The Roisin Dubh. OC York.

Character name: Det McNally

Post Wed May 14, 2014 3:46 pm

Code of Ethics

Eva stirred slowly, raising her eyes from her book as the console in her quarters chimed. She pulled a shawl across her shoulders and seated herself demurely, expecting to see the face of a client as she activated the screen. ‘McNally?’ she blurted.

McNally frowned deeply. ‘Sorry for... botherin’ you,’ he said. ‘I need to ask a favour.’

Eva felt a smile tug at her lips. ‘Well, I do owe you.’

‘Well, no you don’t but...’ he said as he shook his head. ‘Listen, when we get to Athens I’m gonna be headin’ down there in a shuttle. I need to do a little business and I need a... a distraction.’

‘A distraction?’ she chuckled softly. ‘I don’t know whether to be insulted or flattered.’

‘Take your pick,’ he muttered. ‘I’m catchin’ up with an old acquaintance and I need him off-guard, at least at first.’

It was Eva’s turn to frown. ‘Is there a risk?’ she asked. ‘Is your friend dangerous?’

‘Dmitri’s not my friend, like I said he’s an acquaintance, but don’t worry, there’s no bad blood, I just want him looking elsewhere in case I need to be persuasive. That little red number you were wearin’ first night on Higgins’ll do the trick.’

Eva’s eyebrows rose. ‘I didn’t think you approved.’

‘I don’t,’ he muttered. ‘Which is why it’s the perfect outfit.’

She gave him a wry smile. ‘I take it it’s just the two of us?’

‘So you’ll do it?’

‘I do owe you.’

‘You don’t,’ he said. ‘I’m asking you a favour.’

‘As you wish,’ she said, sounding exasperated as she frowned again. ‘Then I’ll do you this favour.’

‘An’ no, it won’t be just the two of us... I’m bringing Alisha and Marshal.’

‘How enchanting, Dr Corbon can glower at me,’ she said.

‘Well, them’s the breaks,’ he said, pausing for a moment, as if deciding what to say next. Eventually he shrugged. ‘I’ll be in touch.’

She didn’t even have chance to acknowledge as he cancelled the transmission. ‘You’re welcome,’ she murmured to the blank screen.
Captain Det McNally
‘If you can’t do somethin’ smart, do somethin’ right... if you can’t do somethin’ right, do somethin’!’
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Character name: Det McNally

Post Tue May 20, 2014 2:52 pm

Re: Code of Ethics

‘That’s the man, Dmitri Krivak,’ McNally said softly, prodding the screen that showed the jowly face of a balding bearded man. ‘He’s the proud owner of the New Krivak Arena and something of a legitimate businessman these days.’ He shook his head slowly. ‘Though it wasn’t always so.’ He glanced around the cockpit absently.

‘Can he be trusted?’ Lock asked, leaning against the centre console.

‘Dmitri? Trustworthy?’ McNally almost smiled... almost. ‘No, not really, but he has his own code of ethics and, well, there’s no bad blood between me and him. Once he makes a deal he sticks to it. Just have to get the best deal I can.’

Chai shifted uneasily in the co-pilot’s seat. ‘I don’t like it. I owe that family. I should be there to make the deal.’

‘Not a good idea,’ McNally said. ‘For one Dmitri don’t know you and he won’t cut a fair deal with anyone he don’t know. An’ two... well, no offence, Chai, but I’ve got a rep with Dmitri from way back... if somethin’ goes south down there I can take the heat and keep everyone else out of the picture. I’m the scapegoat, remember?’ He caught the uncertain look in Lock’s eyes. ‘I’m not goin’ in there on my own, I’ll have Alisha’n’Marshal lined up to watch my back, an’ I’m gonna pick up Eva too, to help keep Dmitri’s mind off jus’ business.’ He glanced to Chai then. ‘An’ quit frettin’ ‘bout your mudder family, I’ll get Dmitri to house ‘em and set ‘em up. Sure he’ll want a percentage, but whether he’s legit or not, he’s makes deals for keeps, I know that much.’

‘But you don’t trust him,’ Lock remarked.

McNally gazed into space. ‘I trust Dmitri to be Dmitri, same way as I trust knuckle-heads like Caine to be knuckle-heads like Caine. I won’t cut a deal if it don’t feel right but there’s no reason for Dmitri to want anything other than a percentage. After all, these mudders’re free and clear, right?’

Chai nodded firmly. ‘Right.’

‘An’ Regan promised ‘em a new home, so I’m just fulfillin’ his promise,’ McNally said. ‘An’ then Regan can settle up with me later.’ He finally allowed himself a brief smile. ‘So whaddaya say, Padre?’

Lock looked at Chai before regarding McNally carefully. ‘You’ll keep us informed?’

‘If anything looks wrong I’ll bug us all out first opportunity,’ McNally said. ‘But if I get Dmitri to deal, I’ll send word and then them mudders can make a new life.’ He glanced at his chronometer. ‘We’ll be hitting the Whitefall beacon in about an hour, I’ll get the shuttle pre-flighted now.’ He rose slowly. ‘And we’ll need a story so Patience won’t go gettin’ too nosey about us hangin’ in high orbit.’

‘Leave her to me,’ Lock remarked. ‘Chai, get onto the Roisin Fuil, give the mudders the news and tell Regan about McNally’s plan.’ He followed McNally aft as far as the shuttle access. ‘McNally.’ He paused, gripped by a sudden tension.

McNally glanced around, making sure they were alone. ‘I ain’t forgot, Padre.’ He opened the shuttle’s hatch. ‘Lemme know the place and what needs doin’, I’ll clear that ‘fore I go anywhere near Krivak’s place. It’ll give me time to check the lie of the land anyways.’

Lock nodded once. ‘You have enough cover?’

‘Sure,’ McNally replied. ‘Kid’s got a shoppin’ list and Harrison is gonna run ferry for her while I’m dirt-side with the others. I’ll keep my ear to the ground for anythin’ else to do with Feds.’

‘Try and stay out of trouble,’ Lock said flatly.

‘I’ll try,’ McNally retorted knowingly.
Captain Det McNally
‘If you can’t do somethin’ smart, do somethin’ right... if you can’t do somethin’ right, do somethin’!’
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Post Tue May 20, 2014 4:59 pm

Re: Code of Ethics

‘Why are we taking her?’ Alisha asked as Eva settled into the shuttle.

McNally took the pilot’s seat again. ‘I need a distraction.’

Alisha frowned at him. ‘You need…?’

‘A distraction,’ he replied with a single nod, donned a headset and tapped the comms line into life. ‘This is McNally, am I clear to cut loose?’

Tobias’s voice came through calmly. ‘Airlock secure. You’re clear, McNally.

Alisha grabbed the overhead console as the deck jolted slightly and McNally pulled the shuttle away from the Roisin Oiche. ‘This is McNally, we’re free and manoeuvring.’ He switched off the comms and started steering the shuttle towards the glimmering orb of Athens. ‘ETA ninety minutes,’ he remarked, removing the headset, sitting back and looking up at the young doctor. ‘You gonna be lookin’ over m’shoulder all the way?’

‘You wanted me to watch your back,’ she replied, keeping her voice low. ‘And I don’t think you should be distracted.’

He chuckled. ‘You really don’t trust her, do you?’

‘She was that woman’s favourite,’ came the hissed reply. ‘She could be up to something.’

‘Well Mei said she checked out clean with the Guild,’ he replied.

‘You seem to have changed your mind about Companions,’ she observed.

‘Maybe I have. Eva, Mei an’ me, we use our bodies to make a livin’,’ he said softly. ‘Cept I know I’m gonna get hurt.’ He glanced back at the Eva. ‘I’m sure there’s folks that ain’t approvin’ of fist-fightin’, but I’ll still enter a ring for the right price.’ He raised his eyes to Alisha. ‘Seems to me you weren’t that happy with me takin’ on that bruiser in Canton.’

‘That’s different,’ Alisha grunted, glowering over her shoulder. Kid was joking with Marshal, Harrison was fidgeting and Eva was gazing through the porthole glazing at the disc of Whitefall. ‘But you’re a pilot now,’ Alisha said.

‘An’ I’m still a fist-fighter, I’m just do pilotin’ in my spare time.’ He prodded Alisha’s side to get her attention. ‘But thanks for lookin’ out for me and protectin’ my moral wellbein’ an’ all.’

Alisha scowled hard but could see the mirth in McNally’s eyes as he rose slowly and stretched. ‘Shouldn’t you be steering the shuttle?’

‘I’ve got a mid-course correction into the Athens gravity well in fifty minutes, then orbital insertion fifteen minutes later,’ McNally said, gently but firmly easing her into the seat. ‘Until then, this baby’ll coast on in.’ He tapped the scanner scope. ‘I just need you to keep your eyes on this and tell me if anything appears on it.’

She stared up at him. ‘I thought Harrison was a pilot, why don’t you get him t-’

‘Because,’ McNally grunted cutting her off, ‘if you’re wannin’ to teach me to patch holes, I should teach you to fly ships… so you can start by minding the scope while I check my kit.’

Alisha scowled again as she watched him cross the small deck, reaching up above Eva’s head and taking down the metal flight case that normally sat beneath his bed. He placed it down on the empty seat next to Eva and, as he popped the latches, he struck up a conversation with the Companion. She shook her head as she glanced at the scope, finding nothing she could use to interrupt McNally so he wouldn’t talk to Eva. She shook her head again, deciding not to like the way the girl was looking at him.
Captain Det McNally
‘If you can’t do somethin’ smart, do somethin’ right... if you can’t do somethin’ right, do somethin’!’
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Character name: Shepherd Locke

Post Tue May 20, 2014 8:31 pm

Re: Code of Ethics

Lock watched the torchlight of the shuttle as it burned away from the Rose.

"Try and stay out of trouble" He'd said to the fist fighter and pondered again on the last handshake before McNally had left. It had only taken a little thought to remember the two numbers, Patch and Reznick, both had stayed on planet to his knowledge doing what he had no idea but he had trained those men, raised them like sons.

Two numbers with names on a rumpled piece of paper left in a handshake to the rough palm of the prize fighter.

"God speed, McNally." He whispered as the shuttle disappeared from sight. "Look after my people and bring them back whole" He said to the stars, a prayer? Possibly but he had work to do someone had to talk to Patience, the owner of Whitefall was waiting and she hated to wait.
"Praise the Lord and pass the Ammunition"
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Post Thu May 22, 2014 9:50 am

Re: Code of Ethics

‘Thank you,’ McNally murmured to Eva as he placed his father’s bible aside and removed the cloth from atop the array of pistols. ‘I do owe you for this.’

Eva looked at him. ‘So you said,’ she replied, her eyes first scanning the collection. ‘Do you really need all those guns?’

He nodded. ‘Never done me no harm to have a couple spare once in a while.’ He rose and paused to adjust the chest rig under his waistcoat before he slipped his Colts into the holsters.

She smiled slightly as she took up the bible, an inconsequential looking book with a smooth black binding and a stitched elastic band holding it closed. ‘I didn’t take you for a religious man?’ Her fingers slipped the band loose and it fell open at Proverbs where a tattered fold of once ornate paper made for a make-shift bookmark.

McNally stiffened as he saw the book open in her hands. For a moment anger flared in his eyes but he fought the urge to lash out, instead opening his palm to her before calmly asking, ‘Do you mind?’

She paused to close the book. ‘My apologies,’ she said. ‘I didn’t mean to pry.’

As he took the book from her he shook his head. ‘You weren’t,’ he stated firmly, weighing the tome in his hand. ‘It was my father’s, he was a Shepherd. He left me this and…’ He crouched and tapped the hulking black and brass Vulcan pistol. He chuckled then.

‘Is it an amusing story?’ she asked a little confused by his manner.

‘Mama Chang fixed this up for me,’ he remarked, hefting the Vulcan in his hand before turning it, grip-wise, and offering it to her.

She took massive pistol in her delicate hands. ‘Very… impressive,’ she said. ‘But not really my style.’

He inclined his head. ‘I guess it’s not really a Companion’s kind of gun,’ he said. ‘Still there is a certain woman I know who seems to suit it.’ He took the pistol from Eva and placed it carefully back in the case, laying the cloth upon it and putting the bible on top, closing and latching the case.

Eva saw a play of emotion on McNally’s face when he mentioned this mysterious woman. ‘Is she special to you?’

He frowned hard and fixed her with a severe glower. ‘Now that’s pryin’,’ he grunted.

‘Forgive me,’ she said meeting his sharp gaze evenly. She hadn’t meant to anger him but she wasn’t about to be cowed by him either. He stared at her for a few seconds before lifting the case back onto the rack above the seats, ‘You are sometimes a hard man to read, McNally.’

‘Good,’ he replied, turning away slowly as if to stride back to the pilot’s console but he remained still.

Eva followed his gaze and saw the equally dark glower from Alisha aimed at her. For a moment she found the young doctor’s stare so much more disconcerting than the cold rage in McNally’s ice-blue eyes that she didn’t hear what McNally then said. She shivered slightly as she spoke. ‘I’m sorry, what did you say.’ She raised her gaze to him as he turned back.

‘I said you should be callin’ me Det,’ he said.

‘Debt as in money owed?’

‘D E T,’ came the slightly terse reply.

‘Det,’ she said, lowing her eyes. ‘Det,’ she repeated, as if testing the name out and trying to make it fit the man standing over her, finally deciding that is seemed to suit him but still made him a hard man to read. Perhaps that was what Chang Li found so attractive about him, his apparent unattainability, yet he seemed so ready to offer help to others. The mudders, Alisha Corbon, even she herself had benefitted from McNally’s sympathetic side and the juxtaposition of cold detachment and solid compassion evinced the man’s often conflicted manner.

‘You okay, Det,’ Kid called brightly from the other side of the shuttle.

McNally nodded. ‘I’m fine. You set to go shoppin’?’

Kid nodded and winked. ‘Always, the Old Lady needs some amount of TLC, she ain’t getting’ any younger.’

McNally smiled tightly and stretched, his left shoulder-joint audibly cracking. ‘Amen to that,’ he remarked and strode slowly back to the pilot’s seat.

Eva watched him carefully. ‘Det McNally,’ she said under her breath and shook her head.
Captain Det McNally
‘If you can’t do somethin’ smart, do somethin’ right... if you can’t do somethin’ right, do somethin’!’
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Character name: Dr. Alisha 'Scrubs' Corbon

Post Thu May 22, 2014 11:30 am

Re: Code of Ethics

She didn’t know why McNally couldn’t see it. That woman had caused so much pain, there was so much blood on her hands. The puncture wounds where she had strung him up, used him like an pincushion and applied an electric current into his back through the pins, would now be a neat row of white scars.

She didn’t understand why he couldn’t see.
Alisha had helplessly watched the whole gorramm thing, the torture that woman had put him through, it still made her stomach turn just thinking about it. Each time knowing that it should have been her, but she would never have had the gall to take his place.

And still, he wears the gifts that woman gave him. And the girl was given up too easily. Mama Chang doesn’t give up easily, she doesn’t, wouldn’t just give up. A dragon lady will never stop.
So why was the girl allowed to leave, the only logical explanation was that it was a trap, a trick, to lull them in, and break them down.

The doctor would patch her up if she was found of her table. But she didn’t have to like her and she didn’t have to talk to her.
Finally as McNally started walking back over, Alisha moved her eyes back to the console, not entirely sure what she was supposed to be looking for. It was all lights, dials and blips to her. She just wished Det McNally could see, that this Jien Huowould be best left planet side, before someone gets hurt, again.

“All sorted?” She asked as he approached the pilots seat, making to get up and move out of his way. “Who are we seeing down there?”
OOC- Cassie
IC- Dr. Alisha "Scrubs" Corbon- "If you can't do somethin' Smart, do somethin' Right... If you can't do somethin' Right, do Somethin'"
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Post Tue May 27, 2014 9:50 pm

Re: Code of Ethics

‘Dmitri Krivak,’ McNally replied. ‘I used to fight in his arena back in the day, before the war. He’s turned legit… apparently.’

Alisha nodded, her eyes glancing at Eva. ‘Is this going to be dangerous?’

McNally shrugged. ‘We’ll find out when we get there, won’t we.’ His eyes were on the scope as he sat back down. ‘How we’re you finding bein’ a pilot?

She glanced at him briefly. ‘I didn’t have the first clue.’ In spite of herself her gaze went back to Eva.

He raised his eyes to the view of the star-field. ‘Well we didn’t crash into anything so I’d call that a good start.’ He looked to Alisha then. ‘She’s harmless.’

Alisha fixed him with a scowl. ‘How do you know? How can you be so sure?’ she asked keeping her voice low. She then lowered her voice to a whispered hiss. ‘Why did that woman let her go so easily?’

McNally smiled broadly. ‘Probably because Chang Li had figured it like this. While Eva travels with us, you’re so damned protective that Eva’s mere proximity to me just about bakes your noodle. Like I said, Eva’s harmless, but what Eva means to you? Now that’s the harmful part, and that’s what I figure Chang Li was counting on.’ He returned his attention to the console. ‘That an’ letting Eva travel with us allows Chang Li to keep in touch with us in a way.’

Alisha felt her stomach flip. ‘Isn’t that more than enough reason to drop her on Athens and leave her there?’

His cold blue eyes rose slowly to her face and his expression was severe and serious. ‘Maybe,’ he said, ‘just maybe I wanna be able to keep in touch with Chang Li.’ Alisha opened her mouth to speak, but he started making adjustments to the controls as a soft chime sounded. ‘Outbound traffic on our course,’ he remarked. ‘I might ask ‘em for a weather report,’ he added, donning the headset.

Alisha stepped back and sat down one of the jump seats behind the pilot’s seat, watching the enigmatic pilot/fist-fighter, trying to figure him out.
Captain Det McNally
‘If you can’t do somethin’ smart, do somethin’ right... if you can’t do somethin’ right, do somethin’!’
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Post Wed May 28, 2014 1:02 pm

Re: Code of Ethics

‘If the Sarge said to help you out,’ Reznick muttered as he offered McNally a hand. ‘How is he, by the way?’

McNally smiled tightly. ‘He’s survivin’… like the rest of us.’

Reznick nodded, noting the manner of the stranger. ‘You fought for the Independents, right?’

‘Does it show?’ McNally asked, stiffening slightly.

‘A little.’

McNally gave a shrug. ‘Well, we’re all jus’ folks now.’

Reznick nodded and his grin faded. The man before him appeared singularly humourless and aloof. ‘So you want to know about Dmitri Krivak?’ To McNally’s nod, Reznick continued. ‘He’s pretty much legit, although there are rumours he takes and makes bribes. He has an imports and exports business and acts as trade and handling agent. He also has a sideline in a casino and his new arena.’ He frowned then and regarded McNally carefully. ‘You said your name was…?’

‘McNally,’ came the reply. ‘I used to fight in the arena before the war, yeah!’

Reznick was now slightly impressed. ‘There’s still people mention you, in passing.’

‘Wonderful,’ McNally said, but it was obvious the news was not wonderful at all.

Reznick chuckled slightly nervously and then said, ‘You’ll probably find him in the casino behind the new arena tonight. He uses it as his main place of business. His house outside of the city is more like a fortress and you’re better off trying to reach him in downtown.’

McNally gave a single nod. ‘And what’re the Alliance doin’?’

Reznick shook his head. ‘With the Core silent, the local authorities are trying to keep the peace, so far it’s holding… like you say, we’re all just folks now. Still, I’d advise you tread careful and don’t go rattling too many cages.’

McNally nodded and shook the ex-soldiers hand again. ‘Thanks.’

‘For a friend of the Sarge, anytime. Take care of yourself, McNally,’ Reznick said and opened the door to his apartment, letting McNally out onto the balcony.

Zaijian,’ McNally said, placing his hat on his head and treading to the stairs, reaching the ground level where Alisha, Marshal and Eva were standing. The sun was setting and the small land-mule McNally had hired was parked across the street.

‘Where to now?’ asked Alisha.

‘Krivak’s Casino,’ McNally said.
Captain Det McNally
‘If you can’t do somethin’ smart, do somethin’ right... if you can’t do somethin’ right, do somethin’!’
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Post Wed May 28, 2014 2:21 pm

Re: Code of Ethics

Dmitri Krivak climbed the narrow stairs to his office above his casino. As he opened the door, his eyes met the steady gaze of a beautiful girl in a fine red dress reclining on his couch. Krivak scowled. ‘Who are you, and how did you get in?’ he asked sharply and he let the door close behind him, not taking his eyes off her for a moment. ‘I will have to call security…’ he added then his scowl became a wolfish grin. ‘And congratulate them.’ From behind the door a figure moved and placed the long barrel of a pistol against the back of Dmitri’s neck.

‘Long time so see, Dmitri,’ McNally murmured.

Krivak turned his head slightly and regarded the gunman, his eyes widening. ‘Det McNally? Why can't you say a nihao like a normal person?’

‘Sorry, but you were cosied up to a couple of Alliance-types downstairs,’ McNally replied, pressing the barrel of his Vulcan harder against Dmitri’s skull and propelling him forwards. ‘I heard you’d turned legit, but I didn’t take you as a sell out.’

Eva rose from the couch and gestured to Dmitri to raise his hands as McNally grabbed his collar and brought him to a halt. As she patted Dmitri down, he asked, ‘Who is you pretty friend?’

‘This is Eva,’ McNally replied. ‘Say hello to Dmitri, Eva?’

‘Hello, Dmitri,’ Eva murmured, removing a small-frame automatic from the shoulder holster under Dmitri’s jacket.

‘I want that back,’ Dmitri grunted.

‘I’ll get you a receipt,’ Eva replied, taking the weapon and sitting down again, the small pistol poised at him.

‘Are you here to kill me?’ Dmitri muttered as he felt the barrel slip from his head and McNally strode into view, holstering the Vulcan. He glanced at Eva. ‘Or are you staging my suicide.’

McNally shook his head. ‘I think she’s singled out which of your vital organs she’s aiming at... I just need you covered while I figure out whose side you’re on.’

Dmitri noted Eva’s low aim and felt his sphincter tighten. ‘Listen, McNally, I’ve always been straight with you. I do deals with whoever I have to and since the war Athens has become a more... difficult place to do business. I have no love for the Alliance, they killed my third wife, Yulia, in their damned raids, but they were the victors. If they had found out about half the things I was involved in, they’d’ve killed me too.’

McNally frowned slightly. ‘I though Ludmilla was your third wife... Yulia was your fourth.’

Dmitri chuckled and shook his head. ‘Does it matter? I just did what I could to survive and, after the war, there was more money to be made being a legitimate businessman. So here I am.’ He eyed Eva nervously. ‘Does she have to point my gun here?’ His hand waved in front of his hips.

McNally smiled slightly and looked around the sumptuously appointed office. ‘Nice place you have here.’ He picked up a delicate looking ornamental statuette and regarded the crudely marked underside. ‘You’re still too cheap to by the real McCoy, uh?’

Dmitri turned and snatched the item from McNally and place it down again. ‘No need to give away all my secrets, these things will only get broken by some clumsy fist-fighter,’ he snapped. ‘What do you want anyway?’ He glanced at Eva and smiled. ‘And why did you bring such a… lovely creature with you? Does she know about you?’ He looked to Eva again and advanced until she clearly signalled him to stop with a flick of the gun. ‘Ahem, Mr McNally here is not a man to be trusted.’

‘Neither are you,’ McNally said softly.

Dmitri beamed and exaggerated a laugh. ‘He is entirely charmless as well,’ he said to Eva. ‘If you stay with him all manner of misfortune will befall you.’

‘Very poetic,’ Eva remarked.

‘But a jewel like you, my dear, would be welcome in a place like this. I could find you a home here where you would want for nothing. I could afford you all you want, all you may need.’ He leaned forward as far as he dare. ‘All your desires I could answer.’

‘I think he wants you to marry him,’ McNally said, placing a hand on Dmitri’s shoulder. ‘Which one would she be, number five or number six?’

Dmitri straightened frowning deeply. ‘Actually… number seven.’ His eyebrows rose. ‘Still, if you are amenable.’

Eva smiled sweetly. ‘I’m flattered but… I don’t think so.’

Dmitri shrugged. ‘Well, a man can but try. Would you like a drink?’ He moved to a cabinet and opened it to reveal an array of bottles and shot glasses. ‘I can offer you vodka or… well, would you like some vodka?’ He was already pouring measures before McNally or Eva could actually reply and he passed two shot glasses to McNally who handed one to Eva. ‘Your continued good health,’ Dmitri said and gulped back the liquid.

McNally and Eva only sipped as Dmitri topped his glass and perched on the end of his desk. ‘So, what is it you actually want from me, McNally?’

‘I need a favour,’ McNally said.

‘What sort of favour?’ Dmitri asked.

‘I need you to set someone up with a place to stay and trade, back ‘em with some money.’


McNally sipped the vodka, demonstrably hating the taste. ‘A family of mudders from Higgins Moon.’

‘Are they on the run?’ Dmitri asked, rising to his feet. ‘I’m not sheltering anyone on the run from a man like Higgins.’

McNally raised a hand. ‘Don’t worry, they’re free and clear. They just need some backing… and I thought of you.’

Dmitri drained his glass again and topped it. ‘Well, that’s… better. I’ll want a decent percentage.’

‘I know,’ McNally said and smiled slightly. ‘So we can do a deal?’

Dmitri smiled and nodded. ‘I think so… say, thirty percent.’

‘I thought you wanted to do a deal, not rob these poor people blind?’

Dmitri’s smile became fixed. ‘Twenty-five.’


‘Twenty,’ Dmitri said. ‘No less.’

‘Fifteen,’ McNally said.

‘I want twenty percent.’

‘You’ll take fifteen,’ McNally said unequivocally.

Dmitri shook his head and looked to Eva. ‘See, this is the sort of man he is. He refuses to do a deal.’

‘You owe me, Dmitri,’ McNally said.

Dmitri glowered at McNally and, for a moment, his eyes seemed to flare with rage, his jaw clenching, but the anger ebbed as a memory rose to the fore. ‘Seventeen and a half?’

McNally’s eyes closed for a few seconds and he said, ‘Fifteen.’

Dmitri supped another measure of vodka, then placed the glass and bottle down, offering his hand to McNally. ‘Damn you to Hell!’

‘That’s where I’m bound to end up,’ McNally said as he shook Dmitri’s hand firmly and winked at Eva. The girl rose and handed the small-frame automatic back to the jowly Russian. ‘How about you buy me a real drink in your bar downstairs? And Eva? And my friends?’

‘Would you like the shirt off my back, uh?’ Dmitri growled, pocketing his weapon, but there was no actual anger. He smiled and slapped McNally on the shoulder. ‘It’s been too long… and it’s so very good to see you. Come, the drinks are on me.’ He led them to the door and back down to the bustling casino floor where Alisha and Marshal were waiting nervously.
Captain Det McNally
‘If you can’t do somethin’ smart, do somethin’ right... if you can’t do somethin’ right, do somethin’!’

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