Those rumors. They were almost as legendary as Henry’s. Old Timer never went to the hardened hidey-hole box to play “bait the bear” while the recent grads strutted their stuff. When word got back to Old Timer Person A from Country B funded a contract on him, he went back to Country B and killed person A all on his own dime. Stretch hadn’t really believed those particular rumors until now. Old Timer carried enough “operational funds” to hire six of the best to kill whoever he wanted. He even carried the tools for them.
Those rumors. They are what built the company. The story quickly morphed into a belief, if not an actual policy that any contract put out on any company mechanic would be met with extreme sanction. That really was the truth behind this “unsanctioned hit of a mechanic” policy. The policy really did exist. Stretch had read it in the employee manual . . . something else Old Timer probably doesn’t know exists. The policy was put out there to stop testosterone fueled one upsmanship games from going to far. The company didn’t care why you wanted to kill a fellow mechanic, they simply weren’t going to allow it. Mechanics were assets which took time and money to manufacture. They were not to be disposed of lightly. Knowing you would become a sanctioned hit with every company asset after you stopped most from taking that high paying contract on the side to kill another mechanic, usually.
Some had a big enough ego to believe they could hide forever. In an age where Google satellites take pictures of every square inch of the world, including Area 511, a person couldn’t really be outside. Tree cover only hides so much. Facial recognition software improves every few months. The cameras on spy satellites improve with every new satellite launch, even the supposedly non-military ones.
Come to think of it, coming here on foot probably wasn’t a good idea” Stretch muttered under his breath. “No hat and no glasses. Stupid move Stretch, stupid move.”
No, Giant is the weak link here, his thoughts continued. An integral part of the team and fantastic in bed, he was still a fuck-up. Normally his fuck-ups were funny, they were kind of like cute babies. The one everybody coos and aahs over exclaiming just how cute it is. The one which grows up to be a fat ugly adult while the ugly baby grows up beautiful. Giant’s fuck-ups tend to always become that fat ugly adult and they don’t take anywhere near as long to grow.
We’ve been giving him shit for two years about that retirement account. It was even funny talking about it in the car on the way here, but that little bastard is going to try and get the money out before we are safe . . . if we ever are safe again. He spends money like water. Always gotta have the latest fashions, most expensive toys. He’s like that California wife who keeps spending more than you make year after year, expecting you to just keep earing more.
I have one storage locker. Slim has one storage locker. They are both small ones. HGTV wouldn’t even call them a decent walk-in closet. Giant has fourteen, all full of clothes he will probably never wear again” Stretch said into the air. “Hell, mice probably got in the things and chewed holes in everything. What’s left probably wouldn’t make decent rags to mop up motor oil with. The fashion industry is nothing more than a legalized Ponzi scheme.”
Giant burned through money like water over a fall. Nothing drove Giant like fine clothes, trendy places and the money to support that lifestyle. Old Timer obviously didn’t care about money.
Those rumors. If we get out of this I have another rumor to add to the list about Old Timer. He’s richer than Bill Gates. That courier bag held more than enough wealth for all three of them to retire in a luxurious place on a white sand beach. Well, Giant could burn through it on one shopping trip to Paris but he and Slim could retire on it easy enough.
“Focus” he told himself. He could see the building just ahead and he needed to have his act together.
Walking through the door he looked around for a bit and was greeted by a rather friendly graying gentleman. “May I help you sir?”
“Perhaps” responded Stretch. “I saw on the Internet you purchased old coins and gold also offering electronic payment.”
“Sometimes we purchase those things and pay that way, yes. Not every time, but sometimes. It depends on what we can verify.”
“Well I have these gold coins my uncle Calvin gave me when I was a child. He told me to save them for a serious emergency. I have no idea what they are worth, if anything, but I need to make some significant car repairs” offered Stretch.
“Are you from around here?” the graying man asked.
“No” responded Stretch.
“And you just happen to have these coins with you?” asked the graying gentleman rather suspiciously.
Stretch misinterpreted what the man meant by the question, fishing the coins out and responding “yes.”
“Interesting” responded the gentleman as he started to examine the coins. “Come over to that counter, I need to use the light and magnifying glass on them. Most people don’t carry coins like these around with them.”