Good Deal Gone Wrong

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Woosh! My Jeep sped by the oak and evergreen trees as each tire fiercely gripped the chocolate dirt and rubble on my way home. It’s a shame I don’t have my long, luxurious, chestnut hair, so the wind can blow through it, but that would hold me back in business. People only want to see a man with trimmed hair to look professional. Plus, with my aviator glasses and leather jacket, it might be a little too much for them. Especially when people find out what car I have. Even though I have all the money my parents left me when they died, expensive cars never meant anything to me. Safety. Safety is everything.

Beep! I cocked my head to the side and saw my iPhone light up. What’s this, a text message? I thought to myself. I pulled my phone out of, my laptop case in the passenger seat. I tapped the “Read” button. Luke, of course. My eyes glancing between the road and the phone, I drove around the island and read the text: “Dude, are you home yet?” Placing my right hand back on the steering wheel, I stated out loud, “Almost, Luke. Almost.”

The trails of trees began to fade and disappear. My home was at the end of the woods. A great view of Canada on one side, and one of Greenland on the other. I slowed into my garage, driving down the levels that took me to the basement. I eased out of the car and closed the door silently while holding my laptop0. Jogging to my basement door, I whipped it open and yelled, “I’m home!”

Marcus sprinted out of the game room. “Hey, I hope you brought food.”

“Well, there’s always food in the kitchen upstairs.”

“But, there are no snacks!” Marcus whined.

“You could always find another two-story modern Indian bungalow with a basement full of technology including all the video games you like to live in.” I replied sarcastically.
“Nevermind!” Fast as a cheetah he headed for the kitchen upstairs.
I started to wander around in the basement to where all the computers were. I see all my other friends socializing. Luke was engaged in some cryptic work on the computer while my other friend, Leda, was commenting on it. Arye and Stormie, on the other hand, were in the small gym, the room over, working out.

With a sigh, I let out, “Hello? I was asked when I was coming home, right?”

They returned a dazed glare, and then smiled. Krys, standing at the top of the staircase, noticed me and from grinned ear to ear.

“Oh, hey, Sean. We were wondering when you were coming home!”

“Thanks, Krys! That transaction took a little longer than we expected.”

“Oh well, at least you’re home now. By the way, I found another arrangement you might be interested in. There’s this program that temporarily changes your personality. I thought you might want to tweak and improve it. If you accept, deal goes down in Brazil.”

“I accept. When do I meet with this businessman?”

“Next week, in Brasília, at a restaurant by the Congress Center. Better start heading for your boat!”

“You’ll be meeting with a Mr. Peters. We couldn’t find anything about him during our background check. No birth date. No recent transactions. Nothing. So, I think Arye and Stormie Should go with you as backup. Still sure you want to accept this offer?”

“Yup, absolutely positive.” I grabbed a few things and headed for my boat.
???????????????

As we pulled up to the restaurant, I quickly scanned my surroundings. Peering through the windows I could see that Arye and Stormie had already arrived at the restaurant and appeared intimate enough to seem like a couple.

I handed my keys to the valet and escorted Leda into the restaurant.

A thin, pale man stood up as we entered. “Ah, Mr. Harrison,” he exclaimed, “so glad you could come!”

“As am I,” I replied. This is my partner Leda; she will be assisting me with our transaction today.” After exchanging handshakes, we sat down at our private table, still in viewing distance from Arye and Stormie.

“Mr. Peters, what does the program do exactly?” Leda questioned.

“It temporarily changes your personality for twelve hours by rearranging neurons in each hemisphere of the brain affecting behavior. The Neuron Personality Program can change many lives, Mr. Harrison.”

I looked him straight in the eyes with the best intentions. “I know. I plan to help many people using this program. Now, how much do you want for it?”I asked hoping the price would be reasonable.
“Five million dollars will work just fine.” Mr. Peters adjusted position, moving the corner of his jacket behind him, and then I saw Leda’s eyes grow big and she clasped my hand. A gun. I did not react; I knew Stormie and Arye were on the edge of their seats, ready to attack, if needed.

“Why carry a gun, Mr. Peters?” she whispered.

“Oh, well,” he paused, “it’s just for protection. Not everyone can be trusted you know.”

“Very true,” she nodded with a hint of understanding.

“Now, shouldn’t we get back to the arrangement,” I interrupted. “I’m sure Mr. Peters is a busy man.” I smiled to lighten the mood. And to show no fear or hesistation.

He smiled back. “Very true. We have ourselves a deal?”

“I think we do,” I said handing him a briefcase full of bills.

“Then it’s a pleasure doing business with you.” He gave me a computer disk, he shook my hand and left. We left shortly after meeting Arye and Stormie at the entrance.

Arye asked me with concern, “Everything’s okay, right?”

“Everything’s okay,” I assured him.

As I turned to the valet to retrieve our car, a black van screeched to a stop next to us, and five burly men piled out and ran at us. We fought them off the best we could.

I heard one of the men yell, “Get the program! Get the program!” I hoped I could fend them off so I wouldn’t lose the disk.

Nearby witnesses on the side were froze with fear must have called the police, sirens blazed through the streets. I was temporarily distracted by them, and the men took advantage of it. An object flew toward my face, and I was overwhelmed with pain. The goon punches me, riffles through my clothes, and sprinted back in the van with the rest of his accomplices, I no longer have the program. As we all stand stunned in front of the restaurant, the sirens grew closer and closer.

My phone rang. I was Krys. “I saw what happened on the restaurant’s camera; get out of there and follow them! I’m tracking them with the street cameras. I’ll tell you where to go.”

I grabbed the keys from the valet, and we ran for our cars, ignoring the police as they arrived at the restaurant. Luke told us what roads to take and soon we were at an abandoned factory, what we assumed was their hideout.
I told Kris to give us two minutes to get the program, and then call the cops.

I got out of the car and snuck into the building with Arye, leaving Stormie and Leda to keep watch and to be our last defense. I nudged my head through a cracked door, and peered in. Seeing nothing, I crawled two feet past the door, so I could see more.

Unfortunately, I was more visible than I thought I was. One of the men pointed at me, and then I saw Mr. Peters, who commanded, “Hey! Get them!” He stole the program back!
I whipped my head back, and saw Leda and Stormie coming to us. They stormed past us, and started fighting the goons with series of uppercuts and dropkicks.

As we fought the goons, trying to retrieve the program, I heard sirens approaching.

“This is the police, stand down!”

We all backed against the cold, brick wall with our hands stretched above our heads.

“They handcuffed each of us, one by one.

One of the policemen searched the building towards the door they came through, and brought back a shiny disk. “Now, who can tell me what this is?”

Mr. Peters shouted, “It’s a program, and it’s mine!”

Leda whispered to me, “Gee, I thought we bought it.”

“I thought so too,” I wryly replied.

“The cop walked up to us, and asked, “What are your names?”

“Sean and Leda.”

He twirled his index finger, and we turned around. I heard a click, and our wrists were relieved of the cuffs. Then he moved to Arye and Stormie and did the same. “So, what happened here?”

“We bought a program from Mr. Rogers, but some men attacked us stole it. They seem to be affiliated with him. We came here to retrieve it,” I replied. “We paid a lot for it.”

The policeman took a deep breath and paused. “It would have been better to leave it to the police, but now, thanks to you, we found one of the top criminals in the black market, Mr. James Nickel.”

“The good news is that there was a reward for him; the bad news is that you can’t keep the program. You will have to come to the station for questioning, and we can’t promise you’ll get your money back.”

I sighed, showed my gratitude, and walked out with my friends.

Beep! I clicked my phone on to find Luke on the line. “Hey, Luke, never let me do business deals like that again.”

“You got it, boss.”





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