A chance encounter - Cheese

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					Isaac was tired. He had been walking nonstop for the four days since Lucy had given him his task. When he came upon a sign that said, “Generia City Limits,” he redoubled his pace. He was taking a break if it killed him. As he approached, the city's massive gates came into view. It seemed rather odd that a city with a population of 47 would need such large gates, but Isaac was far too exhausted to care. He walked up to the guard and struck up a conversation: “Hello there!” “Welcome to Generia.” “Does this town have an inn? Or a restaurant? I could really use either of those.” “I wouldn't know, sir. I'm not allowed to leave my post at any time for any reason.” “What, not even bathroom breaks? How do they keep you there?” “My feet are bolted to the ground, sir.” “That sounds extremely painful. Would you care to purchase some aspirin? I actually feel sorry enough for you that I'm willing to give you a discount.” “I don't have any money, sir. Sir? Where'd he go?” *** Samantha whistled innocently as she walked into the hall of records. “Now, where would they keep it?” she muttered. “As you can see,” a loud man in a white lab coat was saying to two men in black suits, “We've stepped up security for this building. Short of the king's palace, you won't find a safer building in this country. Quite simply, it is impenetrable.” “Excuse me,” Samantha interrupted. She smiled sweetly. “Would any of you happen to know where they keep the top secret files?” “They're behind the third door on the right,” said the man in the lab coat. “It's the one with the sign that says 'Do Not Enter.' You can't miss it.” “Thank you,” she said, hurrying off. “Now, where was I? Oh yes, impenetrable security...” Samantha ducked into the room and immediately began to search. “Come on, there has to be one somewhere. Hello, what's this? This looks promising.” She grabbed the file, stuck it in her bag and walked out. The three men were still there. “Thank you so much,” she said. “No problem, ma'am,” one of the suited men replied. “It's what we're here for.” “No, you're supposed to be our new security guards,” the man in the lab coat sighed. “Do try to pay attention to the briefing.” *** Isaac groaned. As far as he could tell, there was no inn in the city. There wasn't even a park bench or grassy area on which to lie. He decided to stop and rest so he could collect his thoughts and decide on a course of action. The tavern seemed to be the only place in town with people in it, so he figured there might be something of interest there. As he opened the door, a booming voice said, “Yarr, I be knowin' where the treasure be buried.” “Keep yer voice down. Ye be wantin' every lubber in here ta take a swipe at us?” Isaac walked over to their table. “Excuse me gentlemen, but I couldn't help but overhear your discussion.” “And what ye be wantin' from us?” “I thought I might have a few useful 'tools' for the 'job.'” “Yarr, what be with the air quotes ye be usin'?”

“What's with the pirate accent?” “Ye've made yer point. What be ye wantin' in return?” “Oh, just a share of any treasure you dig up. And Q200 for the 'tools,' of course.” “How much of our treasure be ye askin' fer?” “Just seventy percent.” The pirates conferred for a moment. When they were done, one of them said, “Alright, ye've got yerself a deal.” He handed over the money. Isaac grabbed the pirate's arm. “Now these things here are some of the most useful tools money can buy. We call them 'hands.' Good luck finding your treasure.” He walked out. *** Samantha checked the paper again, just to be sure. It clearly stated that three great heroes would arise and save the world. She pondered this statement carefully. She decided that to pull this one off she'd need two accomplices. She walked to the town square and found in buzzing with activity. She saw a man about to close a small booth, and asked if she could borrow it for a few hours. He gladly obliged. She put up a sign reading, “Heroes Wanted,” and she waited. A line quickly began to form as she interviewed applicants. Most of them were extraordinarily dull, and the rest painfully incompetent. After witnessing a few too many of the latter, she abandoned hope. She turned to the next candidate and said, “Excuse me, would you mind running this for a few minutes while I'm in the bathroom?” “Of course,” he responded. *** Isaac sat down. He didn't know the woman who had asked him to take her place, but he was more than willing to help. Of course, it certainly helped that it give him the opportunity to make a bit of profit on the side. “So, whose money can I take first?” he asked the waiting crowd. *** Samantha walked to the end of the line and surveyed the remaining people. She didn't hold out much hope that any of them would be able to help on her quest. She left the square and searched the rest of the town. There didn't seem to be many people anywhere else. There was the tavern, but she wasn't particularly interested in working with that kind of person. Other than that, the place was deserted. She sighed and resigned herself to the notion of dealing with more idiots. She walked back into the town square and was confused by what she saw. The crowd was still there, of course, as was the man in the booth, but something seemed awry. Then it struck her: he was sitting on a wheelbarrow full of money. She came up to him. “Oh, there you are. Mind if I help you out just a bit longer?” “You're hired.” “What do you mean hired?” “You wanted to save the world, didn't you?” “No, I came here to–” “Yes, you did. This is going to be an interesting experience. I'm Sam, by the way. And you are?” “Isaac.” “A pleasure to meet you.”


				
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