Unfinished Business

I was collating some tax documents yesterday when Bruce buzzed the intercom for my office.

“State your business,” I said professionally. I didn’t know it was him.

“Since when did you get an intercom?” he asked, voice scratchy over the 9600 baud line. I got an excellent deal on the system, but I wasn’t about to have a conversation on it. I told him to come up, and make sure he closed the door. HALIFAX_1 is cold as fuck this time of year, and the pipes have already burst once this month.

After he’d slung his scarf over the radiator, Bruce placed his briefcase on the smooth expanse of my desk. It bumped against my hologram business card viewer, but thankfully not hard enough to void the warranty.

“I believe we have some unfinished business,” he said.

I racked my brain, trying to remember what we’d left undone last time. He’d sold me the K-Visions, yes, and I’d sent his promised dividends by PlasmaLYNE, the most trusted facilitator on the GRIDD. He could only be referring to —

“The sapphires,” he continued.

Riiiiiiiight. He’d sent over some choice salamis and a wheel of aged gouda, the deal being that I’d re-route a certain shipment of synthetic sapphire cubes to an abandoned parking garage near my acupuncturist. I’d been meaning to have those couriered over, but I’d gotten totally sidetracked by all my tax paperwork. God, it consumes me.

I pulled out an identical briefcase from underneath my desk. This wasn’t a coincidence; we’d gotten them at the same business store. We swapped cases, and without another word he retrieved his scarf and left the office. The slam of the front door crackled through the intercom. It still hadn’t turned itself off.

I killed the connection, drew the blinds, and popped open the case.

Artisanal vinegars. As agreed.

I poured myself a tasting selection and went back to my taxes.

- Christian