Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Boy Named Nod: Milk Carton Part 1


“Absolutely not.”

“Mr. Nod, please reconsider.”

“I don’t reconsider hunting down children.”

“These aren’t normal children.”

“In case your powers of observation are lacking, I’m not normal either.”

“That’s one of the reasons why we chose to contact you first and foremost.”

“I see. You decided that a child would be useful to hunt down other children. While I’m loathe to forcibly expel a job offer from my home, my colleagues have no such compunction. Make your point swiftly or leave with equal speed.”

“Mr. Nod, are you familiar with The Judges?”

“Who isn’t? We’ve done our fair share of turning in fish head bounties. I don’t much care for groups that like to persecute others because of their own standards. Besides, they frown on hiring specialists like us.”

“Are you familiar with their leaders?”

“The Consulate?”

“No, the sea monsters who rarely come into the bay. The three that are seen most commonly are Leviathan, The Kraken, and the island sized tortoise Mundo.”

For the first time in our conversation, I was starting to become curious. My curiosity was piqued for only one reason. At the mention of Leviathan, Gregor had dropped his tea. Oh, Mr. Jonathan had caught it for him so there would be no unsightly shattering across the floor Rebecca had just cleaned. But he had dropped it.

“What bearing does this have on the children you want me to find?”

“Their father blew a hole in Leviathan Mr. Nod.”

Gregor nearly fell over. It took everyone in the room to catch the giant as he swayed and lower him slowly to the sofa.

“Sounds like they were doing the rest of us a favor. I fail to see your point.”

“The Judges were able to capture their father, one Daniel Corsair. However, he was released again into the city under one condition. That condition was that he would not return to the water looking to pick a fight until he had destroyed the rest of the city. Our sources tell us that he readily agreed. His daughter had been captured at roughly the same and escaped with her father. His son and their mother were never apprehended. It has been reasoned that Mr. Corsair is searching for them right now. Once he finds them, his wife will be killed. Furthermore, both of his children share his… propensity for violence. His daughter uses her telekinesis to play dress up with people before shaking them death during temper tantrums. The son’s abilities are unknown at this point but it appears as if he has some sort of ability to either duplicate himself or to summon multiple individuals. Every roadblock he and his mother have escaped from appeared to have been torn apart by a small army rather than one boy.”

A mother to be killed. A father gone mad. Siblings separated.

“Who do you represent Mr. Fehr?”


“Who do you represent? Normally, that sort of thing isn’t necessary to know. It’s often distracting and takes away from the idea that we’re simply doing a job. Everyone wants a relationship these days, it seems.

I don’t.

I just want to know who you are that you give so much of a damn about the state of the city. You aren’t municipal. That’s plain. You aren’t throwing pile after pile of money after me while layering threats in their as well. You aren’t Corp elsewise you wouldn’t share any information. Who are you?”

He adjusted his tie and thought for moment. That was rare too. He was searching for the right way to answer a question that should’ve been proclaimed with pompous zeal. Instead, I was watching this desert-skinned man with mild stubble and cold black eyes frown and fidget.

“I am… No… Let me start again… I represent The South Cairo Corporation.”

“Go on.”

He blinked, surprised.

“That doesn’t phase you?”

“Hardly. We already know the North Covington Corporation exists. Why wouldn’t there be one more to round out the pack?”

“That is more or less what we felt. It seemed to be just waiting for someone to claim the place. Our status will be affirmed shortly after Mayor Morelli signs an amendment to the city charter legalizing our and North Covington’s activities.”

“That settles who you are. Why do you give a damn?”

“We… are more interested in the preservation of the city than most of our competition. West Worthington and East Fredricksburg exist only via continuing to squeeze more and more out of anyone within their reach. North Covington plans to do the same thing. It is our belief that they will ruin any potential for profit through this inorganic method of profit making.

In short, if Corsair tears apart the city and everyone pays the Corps more to end the problem, they still have to spend money to fix things don’t they? If they don’t, the population will eventually start to dwindle and they won’t have as many people to squeeze. Whereas, if we actually do our job, we make more money because there are more people.”

“Fancy that.”


“A Corporation with business sense. Alright, tell me their names. We’ll take the job.”

“We’ve been unable to determine their real names. They were never properly registered with the city when they were born. However, we do know that The Judges have codenamed the girl Riot and her brother Mob.”

“Any leads on where they may be headed?”

“We have reliable sources claiming that Mob and his mother are holed up somewhere in Takt District. Be careful, we aren’t the only ones seeking them. Everyone’s coming out of the woodwork to find a way to deal with Corsair.”

I stood, adjusting my tie, straightening my suit.

“That’s just fine Mr. Fehr. Transmit the first half of the payment to our account when you leave. By the time they clear, we’ll already be mobilized.”

Another mother would not be killed by a lunatic father, regardless of where the son’s mind might be. My life was an aberration, a one in a million occurrence, and would stay that way.

“Alright lady and gents, let’s get packed. We’ve got a job to do.”

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