The Subject-Midday Interruption

Martin’s Tavern

Washington D.C.

December 2nd 20XX

1:17 P.M.

EMISSARY: Good afternoon X.

X: You are very rude.

EMISSARY: Pardon me?

X: You have sat at my private booth, uninvited. You have also failed to introduce yourself.

EMISSARY: Please forgive me. You may call me Emissary.

X: That is not a name.

EMISSARY: Neither is X.

X: A fair point. If you have something to say, please do so quickly.

EMISSARY: Very well. Discontinue your search for Doctor Kim.

X: I have no idea to whom you are referring.

EMISSARY: That is untrue.

X: Truth is a subjective commodity.

EMISSARY: In your line of work, it must be. Let’s speak in hypotheticals then. If you were looking for a certain individual, I might advise you to stop.

X: Why might you do that.

EMISSARY: Two theoretical reasons. One, it would be a waste of time and resources. Resources can be replenished but time wasted will never return. Two, doing so might garner unwanted attention. If I understand what your role is, that is an undesired state.

X: Perhaps, but the meek rarely do great deeds.

EMISSARY: They do tend to live longer.

X: I respond poorly to threats.

EMISSARY: Fortunately, this is just a hypothetical.

X: Of course.

EMISSARY: Did you hear about that business at the South Pole?

X: It was on the news. Briefly.

EMISSARY: It could’ve been much worse. People might have lost their lives.

X: I did not see you as a humanitarian. 

EMISSARY: I abhor waste.

X: Prague might disagree.

EMISSARY: Examples, on occasion, must be made.

X: Understood.

EMISSARY: Excellent. Open and honest communication is the key to all relationships.

X: Do we have a relationship?

EMISSARY: Theoretically.

X: Seems one-sided, theoretically.

EMISSARY: Let me ameliorate that. If you would like to order more, we are open to that idea.

X: We do already have one, at no cost to ourselves.

EMISSARY: The good people of the Flagstaff area would argue that it was not free and you have two.

X: Even so, why would we want more?

EMISSARY: The same reason your nation has nearly six thousand nuclear warheads. 

X: Of course.

EMISSARY: Here are our rates and terms. 

X: Not unreasonable. 

EMISSARY: Most people balk at the cost.

X: My father always said, “Never buy cheap shoes.”

EMISSARY: I’m not sure I follow you.

X: A well-made pair of shoes, if cared for, will last for years. Cheap shoes wear out and must be replaced often. In the long run, expensive shoes are the real bargain. 

EMISSARY: I am pleased to hear that. Instructions on the next step are at the bottom. Make no attempt to trace our location. If you do so-

X: It will end badly?

EMISSARY: We will never do business with you again. So yes, badly.

X: Understood. May I ask you a question?

EMISSARY: You can ask, but I may not be able to answer.

X: You are aware that we have all the data that Sanderson Industries possessed. Are you not afraid that we will eventually understand the process?

EMISSARY: Not in the slightest.

X: You didn’t even pause.

EMISSARY: There was no need. We know what you have and we know who you having working for you. None of them are smart enough to figure it out. Please enjoy the rest of your luncheon.

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