Far Horizons: Tales of Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Horror. Issue #13 April 2015 - Page 54

screen went black. “Come on up, and make sure you don’t bring any wildlife with you. I don’t need the extra company.” “I’ll be careful Mr Colfax.” The comm went silent. Colfax opened the main doors and sat down to wait. He didn’t need to wait long. The knock on the door was short. Colfax looked on the monitor to see a well-dressed man standing there carrying a briefcase. He looked patient and like he belonged there. Colfax opened the door, and the man came in, looking around as he did. “Interesting accommodations, Mr. Colfax,” he said. “It’s not the Taj Mahal, but it’s home,” Colfax said from the couch. “Interesting first name you have. May I sit down?” Colfax waved a paper-strewn chair. “Dad loved Daniel Boone. Be my guest, mister?” “Bennett, Oswald Bennett.” Bennett was a couple of inches shy of Colfax’s height and looked thin, but not unhealthily so. Fit like a runner was Colfax’s guess. He wore a black suit, the latest nano-material by the look of it, and his eyes were sharp. Wearing sweats and a stained t-shirt, Colfax didn’t feel under-dressed. “I have, as I said, an offer for you. If you want it.” Colfax pushed a button and a servobot came out with a beer on its head. Colfax took it and opened it. “Depends on the offer.” “I am offering a job that is right up your alley, to use the vernacular.” “Go on.” Colfax drank. “You want anything?” “No, thank you,” Bennett managed not to look offended. “I, that is we, want you to find someone for us.” “I work for law enforcement only, no private jobs. They get complicated.” Bennett nodded. “I understand, but this is somewhat specia l shall we say.” PAGE 54 “You can say that,” Colfax said. Bennett studiously ignored the implication. “This is a job that law enforcement would prefer to leave alone, thus it has fallen to us to take it up. And by us that includes you.” Bennett opened his briefcase, took out a file, and put it on the table. Colfax watched him. “There is a man we want you to find and report to us when you have. Nothing more, nothing less. You find him, you tell us, and we do the rest.” “What do you mean, the rest?” Colfax was intrigued. A paid job with no hassle suited him fine. “That is something you need not concern yourself with Mr. Colfax.” No more was going to come from Bennett about that Colfax realised. “The details are in this file, take your time and look through them then call me on the number inside when you decide. Rest assured, it will be more than worth your while financially.” Colfax raised an eyebrow. “How much?” “I’m not at liberty to say, suffice to say my employer is very generous.” Bennett stood up. “Good afternoon to you Mr. Colfax. I hope to hear from you soon.” Colfax opened the door and Bennett left. Curious, Colfax looked at the file for a few minutes, thinking about the meeting and the man who brought the file. Then he picked it up and started to read. Thirty-six hours later Colfax was sitting on the inter-planet shuttle reading more from the file, waiting for the approval to leave orbit. Bennett had met him at the café planet-side with more information to add to the file he’d seen. Colfax had wanted a beer, he always did before a flight, but there wasn’t any. He’d sat down with a mug of brown liquid that he was told was coffee, but he had his doubts. Two tubs of creamer hadn’t helped ease them. Bennett turned up and ordered a tea. “It comes in a bag,” he said. “Easier to tell what it is.” Colfax had looked at his coffee. He couldn’t disagree with that. “So tell me more.” Bennett laid a thin folder on the table between them.