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204. Exploitation

203. Leaving Us

202. Our 5 PEAs

201. Last Album

200. Friendship

199. Breedings

198. Promotions

197. 2 Cousins

196. Jake's Son

195. Erosion Clan

194. Jake Diploti

193. Next Steps

192. A Funeral

191. Destroyed

190. Destruction

189. Selection

188. Evacuation

187. Evidence

186. A Hit List

185. Baiting Him

Fleeced for Cash

avatar on 2024-03-29 00:14:22

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Something did not add up. Even if I was pushing for it, they did not all have to leave at the same time like that. I waited until they were gone before I turned to Hunter. If I was right things might go south for us later on. "Did you give him anything?" I asked him. He rubbed the back of his neck. "Huh!? What do you mean!?" was his shifty response. He was not even giving me eye contact. He did. I put my hands on each of his shoulders. "Hunter. Look at me. I am not mad." I said. He took a deep breath before turning his face to look at me. I nodded and said "I just want to know so we can make plans for the future." He then told me what might have happened. It was the day after Rodrick and Emmanuel left us. They had gotten together and they decided to play some card games. It started innocent enough. It was then 08-001 that came in later and suggested to put wagers. Both Jake and Hunter were drunk, but 08-001 was not. They ended up fleecing him for over half of his money before he passed out during a game. "How much are you down!?" I asked. He winced and looked down.

Damn. It had to be a high number. "33,599,664,000 credits." he whispered. I was stunned. How did he get all that money. We did not pay a salary for the clan. Even all of us working with the studio did not pay that much. Then I remembered something important. When we got on the continent, Brett gave me 100 billion credits to play with. I would not pass him to do the same with Hunter at some point. "Did either Brett or Paul give you that money?" I asked him. He just nodded. I shrugged. "Listen. They are very generous. They have so much money that it does not even bother them to give that much to a co worker. If anyone asks, that money was not a bribe. It was a fair payment for his services." He just looked at me. "Services? I'd never. Jake is my family." "Not personal services. Service to the clan. He did breed Clan Pump and Dump to give them more PEA units for their new lab. As a clan officer, you had the right to pay for such a service." He thought it over and said "I guess you're right." I shrugged my shoulders. "Who knows? Maybe they bought new labs or gadgets with it." I said.

Exploitation was wrong. But, at the end of the day, subversion was deeply coded into their very nature. Of course they would fleece such an easy target. Paul, Brett and I would do it too. Probably take even more than they did while we were at it. This was not a big problem for us. Our treaty put us under Major Watts. As long as we did not have any official clan channels supporting them in the western quadrant, we would be fine. Our job was to take down Cold Clan. Once we did that, we would essentially be free. Major Watts was a great commander and had a good eye for battle. As long as he was not also a shrewd tax auditor, we would be perfectly fine. When we were in alliances with the Advocates and Sonic Clan we would give them 10 billion each week and whatever weapons and gadgets that we had on hand every 2 weeks. The payout of 33.6 billion was not much in comparison. Still, that was a really big chunk of change. The clans we gave our backing to had more money than they knew what to do with. The Advocates also got a massive reduction on research with all our stuff.

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