“So? You want anything to drink? Dragon’s Breath? Battery Acid? Slime Spit?” the ogre said with a smirk.
“None of those sound particularly…healthy,” said Jen, “Anyway. Can’t drink while I’m on duty, being a government agent and all.” She wanted to remind him exactly why she was here. If it was even possible when talking to a being twice your height and nearly three times your weight, she wanted to keep the power in the conversation. The ogre set down the glass he had been polishing and flipped the towel over his shoulder. He set a pair of meaty hands that were more akin to a perverse set of ham hocks on the bar’s counter.
“Straight to business then.” He said. The words sounded like they should have been a question. They sounded like they desperately were trying to be a question but were too afraid of the being who spoke them to even politely suggest that he had said them wrong. Jen desperately wondered what the procedure was for subduing an angry ogre. It would have been nice for Arthur to have clued her in that she might be dealing with one when she left for The Pit. She’d made a mental note to bring it up with him when she got back to the office. If she got back to the office. For now, she needed to focus her attention solely on the big, ugly problem that was staring her down across the bar.
“Are you familiar with Stymphalian birds?” she asked him.
“Nasty pieces of work. I know their shit is classified as a Type II restricted material. We make sure nobody deals it or even attempts to deal it here. Someone trafficking Stymphalian shit?”
“No. Someone managed to sneak a mating pair of the birds through customs. Word is that they’re attempting to offload them and that they may have been gabbing about it here.” She watched the ogre’s face transition from smug to shocked as she spoke.
“Bossman wouldn’t truck with anyone dealing their dung in his establishment. No way he’d stand for someone trying to sell a pair of ’em here. No way. Shit, that’s serious. I figured since you were a rookie Old Arthur just sent you down here to rile with us.” He said. The ogre’s already pallid skin had lost almost all its color. Jen could practically see the veins all the way through his skin. If he was bluffing, he was doing a magnificent job of it.
“So you don’t know anything about it?” she asked.
“Nah, I’ve been off the last week. First night back since a decked a lich. Bossman thought it would be a good idea if I cleared out for a bit. Let things cool down. Wouldn’t have heard much anyway. During peak hours we keep pretty busy behind the bar. Guy you’d want to talk to is Bossman himself. He ain’t in though. You want me to send him your way when he gets here?” he said.
“Yeah. Tell him he can drop by our office or just to give me a call. Whichever works with his schedule.” She slipped a business card out of her wallet and slid it across the bar to the ogre. His enormous hand enveloped it and it was tucked out of sight in some recess of his apron. As Jen made her way back out to the street, she wondered how the brute would even be able to find it later to give to his boss. Dismissing the thought, she shrugged. For now it was back to the office to listen to the police scanner on the off chance that the birds got out to the general public. She didn’t want to think about the mess that would cause.
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