Shaw's Outset

Daniel Shaw sauntered into the Lost Flask, holding his breath. The man disliked coming to this establishment, it attracted too many truly disreputable people. Unfortunately, the man who had hired him had insisted upon using this establishment. From the moment they had acquired the goods Daniel had been reasonably confident that he was being set up, but walking into this place confirmed that in his eyes. He quickly walked over to an empty booth with a decent view of the entrance and waited for the trap to spring.

While he waited, Daniel lifted one of the utensils in front of him and was surprised to find a spork in his hand. He shook his head as he traded the odd utensil for his phone, and so he could send a message to his crew instructing them to be ready. He leaned back in his booth and examined the lanky yet well-groomed man who entered the tavern. His entire demeanor screamed that he was used to getting his own way. Daniel sighed when the gangly greenhorn caught sight of him and smiled broadly. As the man made his way towards him, Daniel realized thought that he had seen one too many cheesy movies and had certain expectations for this encounter.

Daniel sighed as his employer slid into the booth asking, “Were you able to acquire the goods?”

“I wouldn’t have called you otherwise,” Daniel said as he tapped the hidden communications device behind his right ear twice, opening a channel to his crew. “However you seem to be missing my payment.”

The fool sitting across from Daniel attempted to flash a predatory smile but ended up displaying how young and foolish he was instead. “I assure you, Captain Shaw, I have your payment with me.”

Daniel groaned mentally, but he decided to go along with this little charade for now. He needed to give his crew time to neutralize any and all of this man’s precautions, so he slid back into the booth and replied, “You were told that I only work with cold hard cash. My crew and I don’t work for anything else, so please tell me how you could possibly have my three million when you’re not even carrying a briefcase.”

The employer smiled again and reached into his coat, but Daniel had been waiting for that motion. Before the greenhorn knew what happened Daniel’s gun was pressed against the man’s forehead, and the booth’s privacy screen had been erected. As Daniel held the weapon to his employer’s head, the only sound was the slight hum from the privacy screen. Soon sweat began beading up around the greenhorn’s temples, and Daniel leaned in to rummage through the man’s coat speaking quietly “Don’t do anything foolish.”

The greenhorn relented withdrawing his hand then Daniel managed to find what the man had been fishing for, and slowly pulled it out. Once in the open Daniel cursed at his jump to action, while greenhorn said, “I was just trying to pay you.”

Waving the wallet, Daniel asked, “It doesn’t lessen my concern. There is no way you can have my three million in this wallet.”

“It’s all there, it came straight from the bank.” Greenhorn answered quickly.


“It’s the latest technology.” Greenhorn looked around as if the privacy field had been dropped already and whispered conspiratorily, “It’s bigger on the inside.”

Daniel scoffed as he depressed the informational button and the bank’s seal flashed across the screen followed momentarily by the amount. “Whatever,” the captain lifted the satchel to the table and slid it across to his employer and was reaching for the field’s controls when the alarms all started blaring. Looking around Daniel could see the field fracturing and then he saw the blood pooling around his employer’s chest.

With a curse, Daniel grabbed the bag and broke through the failing field and was greeted by the commotion that was ensuing in the bar. Armed thugs were trying to intercept everyone as they tried to escape. Daniel tucked his head down and made for his emergency bolthole from the Lost Flask. As he crossed the threshold of his private exit, Daniel noticed the barrel of a gun becoming level with his face and he instinctively clenched his fists letting his personal shield flare into existence as the bolt of plasma washed over him.

While he was protected by the scorching heat it did steal his breath and force him to the ground, but Daniel instantly rolled to his feet, having secured the money case and withdrawing his own sidearm taking aim at the shadow that had just tried to kill him. “You just missed your shot.” Daniel said as he took a step to steady himself, before crying out, “Now back off and you won’t get hurt.”

A hearty and warm chuckle issued out into the damp and foul air behind the bar, and a large and well-built man stepped into the waining light eliciting a gasp from Daniel, “I take it you know me?”

“You’re Stepan Glazov.”

“It’s good to be famous,” The man said with great eloquence as he lowered his weapon and walked up to Daniel. He grasped the captain and said, “I’m surprised that you walked out of the Lost Flask in one piece.”

“It was a challenge,” Daniel said trying to find a clear way to get around this dangerous man.

“I was impressed with how you managed to acquire my property, Captain Shaw.”

“I didn’t realize that it was yours,” Daniel said emphasizing his contrition.

The large man nodded his head and said in reply, “I know this, the man who hired you kept much from you. But he has been dealt with. And see myself having great need of your services in the future.”

“Wait? What?!” Daniel asked through a furrowed brow.

“Congratulations, Captain Shaw, I’m hiring you and your crew.” Stepan grinned menacingly as he lifted the satchel concluding, “Consider this your successful interview.”