The night air in Romba was cool that night. The factories had closed hours ago, and workers had returned home to spend whatever time they could with their families. Or at least those with families had. The place for those who didn’t was where Davi was heading. He was dressed like your average worker would be in their downtime, with a flat cap and a long, slightly rough jacket. Davi felt his pockets once again, checking to make sure he had everything he had meant to bring with him: A pouch of money, in case anyone needed an incentive to cooperate, his badge, in case anyone needed a lot of incentive to cooperate, and a revolver, in case things got … hairy.
By the time he arrived at the Pub it was pitch black out, the only source of light on the street being the illumination coming from the building itself. A single man was waiting beside the door, large and stern looking. He was going to need a way to get the man to let him in.
Davi stood outside the entrance awkwardly, occasionally glancing at the burly, angry looking man, but not making a noise. After a while of ignoring Davi , the man finally decided to address him.
“Um, I’m not a bouncer, or anything like that. You can go in if you want.”
Davi released a sigh. “Ohhhhh. Sorry, sorry, I , uh, thought, okay, I’ll just be heading in, uh, then. Bye”
The man didn’t respond, looking back up at the sky in thought.
The smell of smoked food was strong in the pub. A few characters looked shadier, but for the most part people just looked tired, workers exhausted from their inflated shifts and financial woes. He passed by the establishment’s bar, stopping to survey the area. Its tender spoke up.
“What can I get for you?”
The on edge Davi jumped at the noise, but quickly regained his senses.
“Oh, sorry. I don’t drink.”
“Then what are you doing at the,”
Before the tender could finish his sentence, Davi had already wandered off. He just needed to find someone in Jethin’s mob, or, as he would prefer to say, someone … on the inside.
It didn’t take long for him to find them. Jethin made all his people wear nice suits. It was horrible for looking inconspicuous in the heavily industrial Romba, but Jethin thought it was funny or something like that.
There were four of them, dressed in black jackets and hats, sitting at a booth off in a corner of the establishment. On one side was a large, stoic tajkin man, turquoise skinned and hardy looking, and beside him was a shorter man, albaz like Davi with pale, sickly green skin and bony features. On the other side was an albaz woman and a stone faced dwergaz man, who had his head resting on her shoulder.
Davi took a deep breath and approached.
“Hello!” he exclaimed, much too cheerily. He was ignored almost entirely, save the large man who glanced at him briefly before resuming gazing into the distance.
“I hear you’ve all been dealing in opium.”
The woman jolted up and looked at him, startling the man on her shoulder as she did so. “What!?”
Davi started silently scolding himself. Why did he always just jump straight into opium!
The woman, who had a fairly large gash in one of her eyelids, nudged the man beside her.
“Hear that Tekol? This guy thinks we’ve been dealing in opium!”
Tekol yawned and stretched before replying. “Now why would he think that, Kaji?
Davi blinked rapidly, his mind racing to try and salvage this operation.
“Actually Kaji,” began Davi.
“It’s Kajulan, kid.”
Davi was briefly taken aback. She hardly seemed to be an age where calling him kid was justified. He shook himself, clearing his head. He had to maintain his cool. He had to seem non suspicious.
“I’ve heard you’ve been dealing in opium, see, and I want in, see?”
Kajulan stared at him for a long while, before finally releasing a hearty chuckle.
“I appreciate your attitude kid, but just because we’re with Jethin doesn’t mean we’re involved in every little thing he has going on. We don’t handle all that illicit goods stuff. We just rough up people who don’t pay what Jethin wants them to pay.” She looked up, clearly thinking. “Now, if you wanted in on some of the crazier stuff. . .”
The short man on the other side of the booth finally spoke, tapping Kajulan’s hand to get her attention.
“Kajulan!” he whispered hoarsely.
“This guy’s very clearly a detective.”
Kajulan jerked to face Davi again, quickly looking him up and down.
“Aw shit, you’re right.”
Before he had time to react, Kajulan whipped a wooden revolver out from beneath her coat and shot Davi square in the stomach. The four ran off, pushing Davi aside as they did so, and Davi fell, positioning himself as best he could to land in the now empty booth.
The interior of the Pub had scattered at the shot, some making for the exit while others took cover. The four members of Jethin’s mob were already gone as Davi regained his senses. He wheezed a few times before finally getting a good breath in, and lifted up his shirt to see the armored vest underneath. One of the lamellar squares had caught the bullet, but he knew there would still be an ugly bruise underneath. He laid back, continuing to catch his breath as he did so. This was the fifth time one of his private undercover investigations had failed. Maybe everyone else was right. Maybe he really was bad at this stuff.