Today’s Story Start was inspired by a comment I heard when shopping the other day. “We’re all replaceable,” shelf-stacker one said to shelf-stacker two. “You’ve got to make yourself stand out to get anywhere.”
“Just don’t take too long,” Tony said over his shoulder and saw Cassius roll his heavily painted eyes. “I know what you’re like. We need to keep at least two of them alive.”
“As long as we have a suitable replacement for Dave,” Vicky said, straightening out his suit and wishing that his binder would stop rolling up. “As well as an understudy for him, then I’ll be happy. We’re going to lose men to the The Lost Gang now that Caleb’s back on the scene,” he told the others firmly.
Although, he thought. Any of them surviving until the end of the month would be a bonus. “A few spares are better than just one, but, well, we only need the wheat, not the chaff. I’m sure they all understand. Our applicants know that they’re taking a risk when they try out for their promotions. Tony and I have important matters to attend to, so we’re leaving this decision in your capable hands.” He glared at the three men in front of him. “Don’t let us down. They’re waiting for you in the next room, you all know the drill. Don’t fuck this up.”
Magnus watched the two men leave through the back door of the warehouse and sighed. “They tell us this every time,” he complained. “It’s not like anything’s changed since the last time we did this.”
“Caleb McNamara broke out of prison,” Cassius pointed out, examining a manicured nail and frowning when he didn’t find a flaw to correct. “That’s new. Things might actually start to get interesting soon.”
“Dave going missing’s not interesting enough for you?” Claus asked absently as he finished cleaning his gun and put it back in his holster. “Personally, I enjoy schooling the newbies. We can’t let just anyone join us on our crusade. Maybe they keep telling us the same things because one of you is an airhead and the other is practically senile? Anyway, let’s go bang some heads together,” he chuckled and sauntered over to the door that separated them from the candidates.
“Or,” Magnus sneered, following Claus. “They realise that one of us has more blood-lust than they do common sense.”
“Whatever,” Cassius sighed. “Let’s just get this over with, shall we? I already feel like I need a bath and we’ve only been here for ten minutes. If you get any blood on this top, I’ll kill you myself. It’s a Valore.”
“What?” Magnus asked, stopping in his tracks to stare at the young man that had somehow managed to make his way up the ranks, despite having no apparent ability that he knew of. “What the fuck is ‘a Valore’.”
“Ooh,” Patrick piped up.
He’d heard the door open and was willing to do whatever it took to get these damned blindfolds off. The rope binding his hands behind his back was starting to chafe. “I know this one. It’s a designer! Clothes! I stole some once; they sold for a shit tonne.”
“I like him already,” Cassius said, sauntering past Magnus and into the room. The man was part bear and had the hygiene to match. “Now, let’s get this show started, shall we?”
Sophie, signing out.