“Jonothan Tan, authorised bounty hunter?”
Jon turned slightly from his position at the bar — a small movement, just enough to let his peripheral vision slide over the man who addressed him. The newcomer was dressed down, no tie, but clearly corporate. His shirt alone would cost more than an average family make in a month.
He wasn’t alone. Standing well back was a goon trying to look inconspicuous, and failing. There would be a second one somewhere, likely to his left. Jon nodded slightly at the speaker, and turned back to his drink resting untouched on the countertop.
The lights in the bar were low and dry ice produced a cheap haze to enhance privacy. Shapes moved in the coloured strobes and music pounded, muffling the many conversations from all but the most sophisticated filters.
“Something I can help you with?”
“As a matter of fact, yes. I’m told you’re the best.”
Jon gave a little shrug as the man seated himself on the barstool to his right.
The ID broadcast from the man’s cube said that he was Darryl MacAllister. Jon’s own cube ran a cross-reference with infosphere social media platforms: age 43, married to Sheril MacAllister, three kids, executive management with the Kurisawa Corporation.
Darryl summoned the bartender with a nod and ordered a drink. “You want another?” He asked Jon, who responded with a brief shake of his head.
The red flags started coming up as Jon’s cube performed a second and third-tier search. The wife and kids had social media entries, but the extended family were coming up blanks or suspiciously flat. Darryl wasn’t who he said he was.
Jon shifted his weight a fraction and glanced left, trying to pick out the location of the second goon. He was conscious of the reassuring weight of the pistol nestled in the small of his back and the knife in his boot.
“Why don’t you cut to the chase and tell me what you want, so I can get back to my drink?”
“I don’t take private commissions,” Jon added. Authorised status came with specific licencing requirements.
Jon’s cube was already piecing together the background clues to Not-Darryl’s real identity. He fought the flight-or-fight response building within him, and shifted his body posture slightly, his hand reaching back under his coat to touch the weapon concealed there.
Not-Darryl leaned on the bar, drink in hand, and grinned like a shark. “Wasn’t always that way, was it, Jon?”
Authorised bounty hunting was a complicated profession.
In my humble opinion, Corvus Belli produce the finest metal miniatures, intended for their sci-fi skirmish game Infinity.
Many of the early models were very manga-inspired and often a little ‘cheesecake’, but over time the aesthetic has improved. Gone are the provocative female sculpts of soldiers in mini-skirts and crop-tops; these days female models are armed and equipped the same as their male counterparts.
There are a number of Authorised Bounty Hunter sculpts. While I like all of them, this one — with his bulky combat armour and trench coat combo — is the meanest. The model captured my imagination the moment I set eyes on it.
If you haven’t encountered it, it is worth checking out Infinity (www.infinitythegame.com). Not only are the miniatures objects of beauty, but the game rules are excellent and available for download free of charge.