Damien Anderson had hit rock bottom. As he slumped against the cell wall it dawned on him that his mother was right. Run with the wrong crowd for long enough and eventually you'll get caught. It didn't matter that he didn't know what was in the bag. It didn't matter that it wasn't his. It didn't matter if he was holding it for a friend. Possession was possession. The arresting officer had made that perfectly clear.
The custody suite was completely white. From the alabaster ceiling to the ivory floor.
There was a ledge that jutted out from the wall with a thin white mat covering it but Damien had opted for sitting on the floor, back against the wall, staring at the door.
It was an hour before it opened again and a police officer entered the room. His uniform was jet black.
"This seat taken?"
Damien looked up at the man standing over him.
"Does it look taken to you?" his lips curling into a snarl as their eyes met.
"Of course not, I just wanted to be polite."
Damien tilted his head slightly and motioned his hand towards the ledge.
"Then sure, sit."
The officer broke eye contact with Damien, closing them for a brief second, and proceeded to sit down. He took a deep breath, turned towards Damien and opened his mouth to speak.
"Comfy down there?"
Damien sighed before standing up, his immense frame rising from the floor. At six and a half foot, he towered over the man sitting on the bench. Damien's orange tank top clung taught against his muscular frame as he leaned forwards. A name badge on the officer's shirt read "C.L. Faite".
"I was starting to cramp a little."
The officer broke eye contact once more, his grey eyes darting around the room before returning to focus on the emerald orbs that had remained fixated upon him.
"I heard salt's good for that."
Damien rolled his eyes.
"Alright, alright, I'll get to the point. I can get you out of this cell."
Damien tensed and his eyes squinted.
"Why'd you do that?"
The officer paused for a moment to consider his reply.
"It's in my best interests to."
Damien clenched his fists and exclaimed.
The officer lowered his voice and continued.
"I'm not your enemy, Damien."
Damien's brow furrowed.
"You're fucking with me. Trying to trick me."
The officer patted himself down and placed out his open palms.
Damien readied his fists.
"I don't buy it."
The officer replied. "What reason do I have to lie to you when you're guaranteed a life sentence if this ever goes to trial?"
Damien grumbled. The officer looked up at Damien. "I'm just laying it out as it is: you can stay here and rot or you can let me help you."
"What's the catch?" Damien snapped.
"You don't run with those gutter rats anymore."
"I didn't intend to."
The officer maintained his composure.
"You also agree to a little unorthodox community service."
Damien gritted his teeth.
The officer straightened his uniform.
"Cleaning and recycling."
Damien checked around the room before replying.
"If I bite, how do you get me out of this?"
The officer lowered his voice, gesturing his hand downwards.
"Best we don't discuss it here."
Damien slumped back against the wall.
"How long will it take?"
The officer replied
"A couple of weeks."
"So this cell's my home until then?"
The officer stood up from the bench.
"It would have been, if your bail hadn't already been posted."
Damien's pupil's dilated.
"Wait, what? I don't have that kind of money."
The officer looked down at Damien.
Damien leaned forward from the wall.
"Who posted it?"
The officer walked towards the door and opened it.
"Your new boss."
Damien slowly moved forwards.
"And who'd that be?"
The officer tapped his foot impatiently.
"You don't know him, but he's very keen to meet you," the officer motioned for Damien to leave the cell, "I just needed to make sure we were all on the same page"
Damien reluctantly followed the officer out of the room, entering a hallway full of identical white doors. The officer didn't utter a single word until he reached the door that separated the custody suites from the main desk. He mentioned that the suspect's bail had been posted and a court date had been fixed. Damien accepted the conditions of his bail and was lead out into a waiting room.
There was a single occupant, a tall blonde man decked to the nines in a cream Armani suit.
At this point Damien's patience had worn thin.
"Just who the fuck are you supposed to be?"
The man in the suit stretched out a hand and smiled.
"Kenneth Lysander, pleased to meet you."
Kenneth drew his knife cleanly across the seared steak, blood dripping from the meat. With a single fluid motion he took the slice of beef in his fork and brought it to his mouth.
Damien looked at his own plate and considered that he should have been more adventurous as the honey glaze glinted off of his pork ribs. He poked them with his fork a couple of times, considering the best course of action for eating them.
Kenneth finished chewing his piece of steak and moved his hand across the table ripped off a piece of pork rib.
Damien startled at the gesture and Kenneth smiled.
“Dig in, don’t want them getting cold!”
Damien relaxed and tore off a rib. Kenneth chomped into his piece, honey dripping onto his hand. Damien quickly followed suit, voraciously biting chunks of meat off of the bone. Kenneth took his napkin and wiped his hands, seamlessly moving to grasp a glass of pinot grigio.
“Is everything to your liking?” he asked, swirling the wine.
Damien nodded, unable to speak with a mouth full of meat.
“I’m glad, that means we can get down to business,” Kenneth timed his statement with Damien swallowing is food.
“What needs done?”, Damien asked.
“Straight to the point, I like it,” Kenneth said, putting his glass down, “there’s a piece of hardware I’d like to acquire and I need someone to do the heavy lifting.”
“What sort of hardware?”
Damien took a swig from his glass.
“I trust there’s more to this than just waltzing in and lifting it?”
“Of course, I’ve got a crew together. They’ll handle the tricky stuff. I just need you for the very simple task of retrieving the hardware from the wreckage.”
Damien recoiled slightly, “wait, just what sort of job are we talking here?”
“Heavy ordnance and recovery.”
“So why do you need me in particular?”
“I think you’re the best person for the job. I’ve believe you’re familiar with this particular scenario.”
“Yeah, but that was jacking fuel cells, nothing of this calibre.”
“If it helps, just think of the target as a fuel cell.”
“Do I even want to know what the hardware is?”
Kenneth brought his glass to his lips before answering, “It’s a prototype.”
“That’s what I’d like to find out.”
“So you don’t even know what it is?”
“Correct, “Kenneth replied, “and I don’t like that.”
“So you want to steal it just to find out what it is?”
“Well, when you put it that way, it sounds rather petty. But yes, I’m a curious man. When this sort of shit turns up on my turf I’m not exactly a fan.”
Damien turned back to his food, picking up a cold pork rib.
“Sure, I’m in. On one condition. When this is all over, I never have to see any of you ever again.”
Kenneth finished his glass of wine and shrugged his shoulders, “fine by me.”