“How did you make that happen then?” Shamm said as he and the others slowly moved off.
Wodan smiled. “I got lucky I suppose.”
Shamm just scowled at him but said no more. The trio crossed the street and quickly disappeared among the crowded humanity.
Wodan got up and walked away from the table. Lhim watched him for a moment before turning to the others and resuming his speil. Wodan found an empty table and sat down. Without thinking he lit a cigarette. A service bot appeared.
“Nothing…no, wait. Bring me a double malt. Straight.”
The service bot whirred and its front opened. Wodan took the replicated drink. He tested it. Oh, yes, it was smooth alright. He waved his right cuff at the bot’s sensor, and the transaction was made. The bot then disappeared.
Smoking and drinking so early in the morning was nothing new for the Time Disruptor. But the sudden encounter with Sollee and the others had caught him unawares, and he needed some reinforcement. Which seemed appropriate because he had suffered two surprises within the hour – the realisation that Lhim was as conniving as he was dangerous, and the encounter with the former comrades. The Heligon Wars was a decade ago, but connections made during that awful time always stayed true somehow. But, perhaps more importantly, Wodan didn’t want Lhim to know of that connection.
He looked up. It was Lhim. Wodan motioned to an empty seat. Lhim obliged. He saw the drink and motioned to a patrolling bot.
“Cheers,” he said holding up his glass. Wodan obliged.
“How’s the meeting going?”
Lhim smiled. “As good as greed gets. I just have to weed out those unworthy. It won’t take long. Is everything alright. You looked as if you’d seen a ghost when those guys appeared. Former friends?”
“Not really. We knew each other during a difficult time. They thought to renew that connection. But that was in the past.”
Lhim looked at him carefully before he drained his glass and then rose to his feet. He was looking back at the group of new recruits, now talking animatedly.
“Have to get back. Last thing we need is attention drawn to ourselves. Are you sure you’re okay?”
Wodan nodded as he too emptied his glass. “It’s good. If you don’t need me, I’m heading back to check on the others.”
Lhim nodded. “Good idea. See you in a few hours.”
Wodan stared after the gang’s leader for a moment before he scanned the opposite street for any signs of the trio. But his scanner revealed nothing even though the memory lingered.
© 2017 L. Tafa