Miller groaned as he walked into the dim shack, chemicals already burning his nose even though he hadn’t descended into the basement yet. He’d had to kick his roommate out last night for, funnily enough, being a druggie and not paying his rent. And stealing Miller’s left shoes. Seriously, who does that. So he had not slept well, considering their argument had turned into a fight which turned into a warning from the cops, who thankfully did not search the house.
The guard that Miller is relieving chuckles as he climbs up the ladder to change and pass off his gear. They work in three offset rotations, so there’s one fresh guy every few hours and always at least three people in the basement. The ground floor is monitored by cameras, not that anyone more dangerous than the occasional homeless guy wanders into their little establishment. Well, little above ground. Below is an entirely different story.
"Rough night?" Sterling claps him heavily on the back as Miller unlaces his street shoes and stows them in a plastic bag, the rest of the clothes he’ll wear home following them.
"You have no idea." He pulls on the coveralls that all of them wear in case of a spill and straps his gun on over top. Sterling hands him a shotgun with a chuckle as he begins to do the opposite of what Miller had just done, scrounging his own bag of clothes from under a rotten floorboard.
"Oh, I think I have some idea." At Miller’s inquisitive grunt, he continues, "That idiot Dax went and got himself caught skimming product, so we had to fire him, and you know how messy that gets. So we’ve been down a guy all night on production. Replacement should be here some time during your shift, I think. He was supposed to show up before I left, but you know how things get when the Boss gets involved."
Miller just grunts at that and they part ways, Sterling leaving for the blessedly clear air outside as Miller fits his respiration mask over his mouth and nose, prying up the panel that reveals the trapdoor to the real operation. He shuts it behind himself, avoiding throwing the heavy lock that seals out any unwanted guests. If they’re expecting a new guy, he’d just have to open it again to go get the poor bastard anyway.
And of course, just minutes later the cameras chirp at them, causing a minor commotion until someone recognizes the slightly nervous looking Asian boy on the monitors. So Miller gets sent up to greet him and give him the rundown of how things work, somehow always the guy assigned to newbie duties. He climbs the ladder swiftly and throws open the hatch with another grunt, causing the boy to jump and stare at him wide eyed.
"Do you always enter a room like that?" He laughs slightly, obviously a little shocked, "Because if so, that’s impressive."
"Yes, because standing out is the goal when running an illegal drug operation." Well, the boy seems to have a good sense of humor, hopefully he handles Miller’s sarcasm better than Dax had.
"Fair point. I’m Monty, by the way." He smiles and holds a hand out to Miller, and there’s just something different about him, almost similar to Sterling. He doesn’t have the same aura of danger most of the workers have, and it makes Miller smile in response.
"I’m Mil- Nathan. I’m Nathan." It just seems right for Monty to know his first name. "The others call me Miller."
"Nice to meet you, Nathan."
Miller had never considered asking to be assigned shifts at certain times, but he wondered if he could arrange it so he worked mainly with a certain production member. He also wonders where Monty was moved from, and if he needs a place to stay in the city, considering Miller has a recently vacated room and no ulterior motives. Well, maybe a couple…
Send Me A Ship And A Number