Mac thumbed his comm as he sat down in the corner booth of the bar. “Alex. Can’t say it’s great to hear from you again.”
“Mac. Sorry about the circumstances, buddy. Look, we just want to ask you some questions, if you’d turn yourself in at the closest station-”
“It ain’t happening, omae. Sorry. You can ask me questions just fine on comm.”
“If that’s how you want to play it, fine. Why were you at the Creep Show?”
Mac pointed at the grimy drink menu, ordering a cheap, horrible synthahol drink, then shooing the haggard waitress away. “It was a job. We were meeting somebody there for an interview.”
“He didn’t say.”
“Okay…who were you there with?”
“Other job applicants.”
“You gotta give me more than that, Mac.”
“Wish I could. We were told to arrive together. After we left, we went our separate ways. Don’t know ’em.” The waitress placed Mac’s drink in front of him. There was a plastic umbrella in it.
“We know one of the people you were there with got a dance from a girl named Trisha. Y’all didn’t even talk to any other girls, but you spent some time and money with her. Who did you talk to?”
“I guess she knew the little elf girl I came with. They talked like old friends, and she took us upstairs to meet our interviewer. We talked to Trisha and the weaselly guy in the suit who interviewed us. That’s it.”
“What kind of job was it?”
“Didn’t get any details. He asked me a few bullshit questions — you know the ones. ‘Where do you see yourself in five years? What’s your biggest weakness?’ Then he said he’d be in touch. I haven’t heard from him since.”
“Did he ask the others the same things?”
“Don’t know. He interviewed us all separately.”
“Even though you arrived together, per his instructions.”
“I told you: weird, weaselly guy.”
“About the photos we sent — can you confirm the suits at the bar and tables?”
“Don’t ask me to pick out any faces, but sure, that looks like the kind of clientele that was there the other night.”
“What about the dancers?”
“I am NOT looking too close at those. That’s definitely Trisha, and I remember the one in the blue outfit, but I didn’t pay much attention to the others.”
“And the staff?”
“That’s the bartender for sure. I almost bumped into the waitress with the bunny ears, and those trolls are the door bouncers. Beyond that, yeah, that looks like the people on duty, but I couldn’t guarantee it.”
“What about the muscle goons?”
“Yeah, those three orks were in the room where the guy interviewed us. I guessed he was either mob or corp. Which one were they, by the way?”
“If you don’t mind, I’ll ask the questions. And what about the security cam image; the one of the old couple?”
Mac’s brow furrowed as the crazy straw dropped out of his mouth. Son of a bitch….
“They were there, all right. Stuck out like sore thumbs in a place like that. Who are they?”
“Nevermind that. Do these mean anything to you?”
Mac stared at the image of the sooty, slightly-burned tarot cards. “No, they don’t. Never saw ’em.”
But I’m going to find out, he thought to himself.
“Thanks for your help, Mac.”
“So, Alex — you coming after me?”
“We’ll see. Stay in touch.” The KE detective ended the call.
Mac stood and paid for his drink at the bar. As he left, his mind was on fire with questions. It was time to start looking for answers….