Dave slouched in his chair, surrounded by tattoos and testosterone. Only full patch members were left in the room—all the rest had been sent out. All except Dave, as once again he’d deliberately faded from their notice. He didn’t know exactly how he disappeared—whether peoples’ eyes just slid away from him or if light actually bent around him. His grandmother had never told him. All he knew was that it took a lot of concentration and he couldn’t fool cameras.
“Last call for beer,” said Weasel.
Dave quietly sipped his water. He was tired and needed to stay alert to focus his magical power, as today’s meeting was a key one. The gang would be discussing how they could expand their drug network, targeting new markets beyond the big cities. Dave tipped his chair back, scratched his full beard, and then, despite his good intentions, his thoughts wandered. He reviewed in his mind the number and location of firearms in the room. He then considered the number of members there with known or alleged murders on their scorecard. He’d joined up only a few weeks ago, with a referral from another chapter, but already it looked like his work would pay off well.
Sasquatch—their very large and very hairy leader—finally called them to order. “Okay, let’s get going. Weasel, Spider, good job last week, torching up that club. Now they’ll show us a little more respect, and cash. Oh, and welcome to our newest member, Badger.”
Sasquatch had taken back control last year when he’d been released from prison—with an MBA earned on taxpayers’ dollars. Badger was even newer than Dave, recently arrived from some First Nations group out in California. He’d already been made part of the inner circle, based on an impressive criminal record. They’d met earlier, and he’d given Dave a peculiar look at the time.
“Spider, phones off, and no photos,” said Sasquatch.
“Sorry boss.” Spider put down his cell phone. “Just thought you’d want to see us all together.” He stared at the picture, then pointed across the table at Dave. “Hey, what’s he still doing here?”
Dave woke up with a jolt, crashing back onto the floor, and definitely losing his concentration. With his sudden unfade everyone stared—frozen for a moment.
He knew that every person present would kill him without hesitation. He was on his own in this. He stood and spread his hands, smiling around the room. “Hey guys, lighten up! I just dozed off in my chair. What’s the big deal?” This was not going to work, judging from the angry looks he was getting—especially from the new guy. Badger gestured angrily at him, and Dave swayed with a wave of dizziness. His pause gave Sasquatch long enough to block the only door.
Dave glanced behind him at the large window, almost floor to ceiling, with rows of painted over panes. He grabbed a chair, swung as if to go after Badger but then turned and hit the window as hard as he could, shattering the old wood trim and glass. Good thing he had practised this in simulation exercises. Now was the time to see if his leather jacket was worth the price.