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6 That's what friends are for

At the market, I was selling off the crook's stuff when I noticed the guy over paid me. I mentioned it to him, and started to give him back some of the money, but he waved me off and told me to keep it. Nice guy.

I might feel a tinge badly for him if I didn't know he will still charge the next guy over double what he paid me. That, and the fact I bought top of the line stuff from him.

A few kilos lighter, I was ready to look for trouble again. I guess he was expecting me, because he wasn't there. I had a sense of satisfaction knowing that he was now the one hiding from me after so many years of it being the other way around.

In his place was Mugger. I know Mugger's name, or at least his nickname, because he usually traveled in a group, and worked as a team to mug those who he crossed paths with. He was good sized, and a bit intimidating. Even with my new toys.

I didn't waste a lot of time talking. I knew why he was there, and that he had been waiting for me. I let the first shot fly, and kept shooting as he fired and closed on my position.

Looking back: I probably should have looked for some cover, but my main concern was simply putting enough hurt on him to stop him. When he got close, he changed guns without slowing down his pace or ceasing to fire.

I changed to my blade, and used it to proper effect. He seemed surprised when it connected. I guess trouble never told him I carried the finest blade my money could buy.

I knew Mugger liked to say "thank you" while forcing people to give him things he didn't deserve, and they probably couldn't afford to lose. I felt the sudden urge to return his politeness:

"Thank you"

It was the first time I had spoken to him. Ever.

I hit the Gym, visited the market and storage, did some reading until I fell asleep.

When I awoke: I checked the clock. "Mugger should be out by now." I told myself, and headed back to the ruins.

He wasn't there. I started going to his usual haunts, but he wasn't there either.

I did however discover trouble's new hiding spot, and hit the Gym while security hauled his limp form off to sick bay.

Once I had found trouble's new hiding spot, it was easier to predict his next one too. And his next. I actually caught him borrowing money from one of the others.

By caught, I mean in the arm. Dead center. Really, it was a beautiful shot at that distance. Nearly knocked him off his feet except that he hit the building first.

At any rate, he turned and started returning fire, but his face told me he was just desperately pulling the trigger. He never hit me once as I strolled towards him, unloading as I went.

His creditor was long gone before I even reached his body. I picked up the credits off the ground, checked trouble for any extra (none) and took his gun. Not like he was making good use of it anyway.

I needed another nap, so I headed for the Gym...