“So tell us, Mr. … Horatio Antimone – my, what a name for someone of such a roguish appearance. Mr. Antimone, why did you attempt to steal from one of our firm’s employees?”
Horatio was sitting at the end of a board room table that probably cost more than his building, wondering how he could get a crystal decanter out of the building while this guy was going on about how much of a mistake it was to whatever.
“Honestly, guys? You business types are easy marks. Big suitcases with combo locks on, screaming something expensive’s inside. Flashy watches, fat wallets. Your belt buckle could feed me for a month, and I mean well. You’re asking for it, Jack.”
“Are we now?” said the big man opposite Horatio.
“Yup. So go ahead and call the cops. But I’ll tell you straight, there’s not a lock made that could ever hold me.”
“Is that so?” said a smaller man, leaning forward. “It’s difficult to trust nineteenth century methods in a twenty first century world.”
“I do me, and it’s always worked out fine,” frowned Horatio, arms crossing. “Call the man. I’m tired of all this.”
“That won’t be necessary,” grinned the big man. “What if I were to tell you that we could use a man like you?”
“No way. I’m straight, man.”
“Good lord, no. You misunderstand – we want you to revitalize a long dormant branch of our organization.”
“Asset acquisition,” said the thin man.
“Indeed. This wasn’t always such a bourgeoisie operation. Our grandfathers’ grandfathers started out as more of a … trade association.”
“Of thieves,” said Horatio brightening. “I’ve heard about you guys. The Guild or whatever.”
“We prefer a more respectable, modern name, if you don’t mind,” grimaced the thin man.
“So what say you, Mr. Antimone?” said the big man, extending his hand. “Want a respectable job?”
“Hell yeah,” said Horatio, slapping it.
“Welcome to Liberations, Inc.”
Two days later, Horatio was browsing the magazine selection at a news stall, when the vendor whispered, “So how did it go?”
Horatio smiled and tossed a fiver on the counter as he walked away with his magazine. Written on the bill were two words: “We’re in.”