Chapter 42 - Jason

Chapter 42 - Jason

Sam brings out some burgers and fries for us. He said we’d only be able to have whatever he had as leftovers, but he cooked these himself. I can still see the oil on the fries. I spend the next few minutes answering Kaiden’s questions between fries. When I finally taste the burger, I don’t even hear what he’s saying anymore. He takes a bite of the burger and feels the same. Sam laughs at us from across the bar.

“Never had a burger so good right,” he asks.

“The best ever,” Kaiden yells out.

“What kind of meat is this,” I ask. I’ve never tasted anything like it.

“Just regular cow meat. I’m guessing you never had food prepared with magic,” Sam asks.

“No, I didn’t even know that was a thing. I would have worked harder to improve my magic skills,” I’m genuinely surprised.

“Yeah, I didn’t know either. Turns out here in the city, things aren’t as simple as they make them seem in the temple. There’s a ton of different ways magic gets used out here. Take those burgers for instance. They look cooked, and they are. Just like any other burger. But, with a little magic, the meat doesn’t realize it’s been cooked so the protein that breaks down when cooked won’t release until it’s in your mouth. Your minds are probably blown now. Wait until you find out about all the stuff technology can do. Oh, and some people are so smart they can combine the two. You’ve seen a TV and heard a radio, right? Well, I’ve seen a radio that’s able to create visuals of what’s playing. You must not have been out of the temple long if you’re surprised by a bit of magic cooking. Burgers must be good, most people tell me I’m long winded and cut me off by now,” he pauses waiting for us to respond. “A word of advice to you boys. People in the city suck. They’re assholes, not to be trust. But, there are still good people out there. Make friends, allies, you’ll need them. Things aren’t that simple. Get a car, traffic sucks, but if you aren’t driving during rush hour it isn’t bad and it might be faster depending on what you’re doing. Property is expensive, but your line of work pays well, buy yourself a house, condo or a nice brownstone. Rent is always raising in this city. Don’t forget what you boys learned at the temple, just understand things are different in the city and everyone reacts different. Take vampires for instance. In the country, they hide. Here, they flaunt their status. Werewolves are the opposite. Not a lot of open space which we thrive in.”

“I’ll keep all that in mind,” I interrupt. He could talk forever.

“Must have finished the burger,” Sam laughs again. He laughs a lot, unlike the permanent scowl on his face and tattooed skull.

“Yeah, it was great. Best one I’ve ever had. Thanks for the advice. I’ll look into a more permanent living arrangement,” he gave solid tips.

“But, I like our apartment,” Kaiden jumps in.

“We barely have furniture.”

“Well, Mr. Sam says your work pays well. So we should just buy some. How much does this job pay anyway?”

“You shouldn’t ask an adult how much money they make,” Sam stops Kaiden.

“We’re a team. I should know how much we’re getting,” Kaiden argues.

“No big deal Sam, I planned on giving him a cut anyway. So jobs are broken down by level. D Level are pretty easy. Usually they don’t require a ton of work or combat. The mission we picked is a D Level. They usually pay between $500 and $5,000. A lot of these are manual labor, puzzle solving, maybe finding a lost object,” The highest rank I’ve completed so far is a B-Level, so I wanted to ease back in.

“Who picks the levels,” Kaiden hands Sam his plate, but doesn’t take his eyes off me.

“The Shadow Syndicate, but they aren’t always accurate, and some jobs are unranked. The next level is C-Rank. These are my bread and butter. They pay between $3,000 and $10,000. A challenge here and there, but nothing that will get me killed, but I get to throw down. Most of these are going be guarding, bounty hunting, missing persons, stopping thieves or clearing out pest problems. Pests like vampires, occasionally werewolves, and assassinations.”

“Assassinations! Have you killed people,” Kaiden asks.

“I’ve killed at least two dozen vampires, 2 werewolves, and one Orc for sure. Killing isn’t my first option. Usually it’s injure, and neutralize, but killing happens. Some folks get a kick out of it, and try to kill on every mission. I don’t. Every kill I’ve made has been self-defense,” every one of them was self-defense; but the list is longer than I told Kaiden. The temple was big on killing anything hostile. But, I’m not at the temple anymore.

“But you carry a gun.”

“I do. I also carry knives, flashlights, sun grenades, some explosives and a bunch of other stuff. Guns are a tool. You don’t have to kill a person with every shot. Besides, the ammunition I use is specifically for things like Vampires, Werewolves, demons or whatever.”

“I’m one of the people who kills everything that gets in my way,” Sam shows Kaiden a twisted smile with a few extra canine teeth, showing his werewolf side. “Now eat up,” he sits down a few pieces of cheesecake before heading back to the kitchen.

“B-Level almost always involve fighting. Usually with someone strong. The mission types aren’t much different than C-Level. Although at this level you might get involved in some espionage, and some of them are long term missions. Pay for these around $15,000 and $20,000.”

“Woah, you must be loaded from all the missions you did with the temple.”

“No. The temple kept most of the money. I’m certainly going to keep most of the money from jobs we do together, because I’m going to do the heavy lifting. No offense, but I’ll never short you the way the temple did us. If we were to do a job for $20,000 and the temple would pay us $100 each.”

“That sucks.”

“Yeah, it did. Now A-Level missions might even be from a politician or local figure. Might even be joining an army for a while. Pay for these is usually between $25,000 and one million.”

“Did you say one million?”


“We need to do some of those. Let’s look at the jobs again,” Kaiden says swallowing a big piece of cheesecake.”

“I haven’t really gotten to that level yet. You have to complete a certain number of missions before the next level is available to you. I’ve only gone up to B-Rank. Now, the last rank is S-Level. I can’t even tell you what the missions are like there. I can tell you the pay is at least one million, and they usually pick you out for these missions.”

“Any more questions?”

“For now, nope.”

“Good, let’s go evict some Leprechaun. Sam, what do I owe you,” I ask as he takes the plates.

“You don’t owe me nothing. You’re Dalia’s boys. Just promise to come if I call you for a favor,” he extends his hand.

“I’ll make sure to give you my number when I get a phone,” I shake his hand.

“Get a damn cell phone boy. You’re going to be screwed without one. Now take care, and if you hear from Dalia, tell her old Sam is still waiting.”


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