Shorts smartworld

The Slumlord

Where Detective Jon Bakker is recruited by one of the City's powerbrokers to locate the mysterious Slumlord... But aren't they just a myth?

[Wednesday | 28 November 2266]

I didn’t sleep at all during the previous night. I didn’t beat the living shit out of Paz. Hell, I didn’t even lay a single finger on him. Instead, Paz spent the night getting me up to speed on the last ten weeks. On September 14, the Magistrate disappeared. Because he wasn’t “a total dumbass”—Paz’s words, not mine—he knew Mikel was the Magistrate all along. To keep his cover, and not have the Magistrate coincidentally disappear at the same time as Mikel, Paz took over the role.

The Animalz left town, which earned the Slums a reprieve from the Force’s overzealous officers, and things were actually going okay. “Great,” I said with a fake smile, knowing that has made my job that much more difficult. But do I still want to do that job if Her Eminence is trying to murder me?

Mittens told Paz everything. Me, my history with the Force, the job from Her Eminence. I was thankful that I didn’t tell her about my time with Mikel; that would have made the discussion a tad more awkward. She’s been working with Her Eminence, ever since she learned she had shinobi shadowing her parents and siblings, waiting for that kill order. They agreed they would work together, and let Mittens feed Her Eminence with fake information. Which was great in theory, until she learnt she’d been misled, and Mittens’ family all end up skewered. They hadn’t figured out a way to deal with that.

Thankfully, my almost perforation at the hands of a shinobi led Paz to believe I was on the level. I let him believe it; at this point, even I wasn’t sure. I was leaning towards helping the slum. The people aren’t terrible, and at least Paz had the stomach to kick the crap out of me, rather than hire a (now, literally) faceless assassin to do it. Still, what would Her Eminence do if I betrayed her? I let Paz believe it, and if I ended up deciding to betray him, at least I’d feel like shit for it.

And at 7:30 that morning, Paz left, and I finally slept.

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